I remember this story a friend at the University shared. We were discussing our most embarrassing moments and he disclosed his.
He was a teenager and had begun to flex his muscles of independence. He had left the house and returned pretty late. When his worried mum confronted him, he responded in annoyance and stormed off to his room. He was a grown man, for God’s sake! He ought to be treated like one. She served his dinner but he ignored it. He would show her!
Midnight came and he tossed and turned in bed. The angry growling of his empty stomach would not let him be. He finally decided to sneak back to consume his meal. He stealthily moved around the house until he reached his destination and began to gorge on his late dinner. Gosh, he was so hungry! He sensed, rather than heard her behind him and he wished the ground would swallow him. His ego was in shreds.
Allah is above any analogy. Sometimes, we ignore Allah or rail at Him for messing up our plans. We neglect our only duty to Him which is worship and assume we can take care of ourselves on our own. Then sometimes, we are amazed, embarrassed by His kind gesture to us despite of our failings. We skipped Fajr because we had to rush out of the house but He still sends someone to give us a lift to school or work. We were rude to our mum and ignored her call as we stormed out of the house forgetting our purse but He sends help our way and someone offers to pay our bus ticket or taxi fare. We lost our temper when a contract we were working furiously on slipped through our fingers and have refused to pray since then, but He sent us a client who single-handedly gave us as much as we would have gotten from the contract.
We should see these events as Allah personally sending us an sms or an e-mail to remind us of our duties to Him.
He is above all wants or needs and we only stand to benefit from following His order to worship Him. He doesn’t need a thing from us, we need everything from Him. Starving ourselves of worship will only hurt us in the long run. It costs Him nothing to keep sending us help but we should feel ashamed that He is there, ready to listen to our prayers but we don’t have time to pray; ready to help us through a harrowing experience but we can’t be bothered to remember Him afterwards. We call on Him to intervene every time we have a problem but cannot do the one thing He commanded us to do: worship Him.
If Allah willed, He could replace us in an instant, with people better than we are; people who are not averse to remembering His Glory. Instead, He continues to have mercy on us and gives us numerous chances to return to Him while still benefitting from His largesse. He is Almighty!
May Allah strengthen our feet on this Path we have chosen.