The Tests of Life

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Today my message is one where I was inspired to write this because a dear friend of mine is presently going through a very traumatic time in his life. He shared some of his very personal concerns with me about what was affecting his health, which had been troubling him inwardly for quite some time.

What I’m going to offer is something that I would not be writing about if I hadn’t asked his permission to do so. He’s just that close a buddy of mine, and he considers me to his only real confidant, a position I do not take lightly.

The specifics of my friend’s health concerns are, like I said, personal, so I won’t touch on the exactness of those health issues are. I’ll address what I said to him because he told me that I should write about what I told him because he thought maybe, just maybe, my rap to him on that day could be beneficial to someone else who’s was dealing with “The Tests of Life.”

After initially having my friend sit me down and started telling of the unexpected discovery of his illness, I didn’t know what to say. To say that I was somewhat stunned would be to put it mildly because I was somewhat flabbergasted.

Talk about a surprise from the outer zone, if there ever was one in my prior collective worlds of experiences, this was definitely one that caught me off guard. The living experience, in no subtle manner of describing it, is full of reality checks big time.

And for me, this one was about as “unreal” a reality check as you can get. I could see (and feel) the despair, shock and uncertainty in my good buddy’s face and soul, and all I could do was keep quiet and try to listen as best I could to a good brother laying his mental burden on me.

At first, I was still in a state of bated shock because this occurrence was out of the blue. Nevertheless, my friend said that he wanted some of my spiritual “As I See It” vibes at that moment of his breaking his illness down to me. He said he contacted me because he wanted me to give him the “AISI” vibes straightforward, with no holds barred.

I tried to gather myself, or should I say more correctly, I tried to composedly realign myself in order to respond to my friend as best I could. For some reason, and only known to God Alone, I told my friend that I sincerely believed that what he was telling me about his illness was a sign from the Most Alone to challenge his faith, “As I See It.”

If you knew me like my friend does, at this specific spiritual juncture in my life, I only refer to (all) things as tests from the Most High Alone. In my way of spiritually thinking, all of the living experiences and arenas  which occur in life’s unfolding diurnal dramas, are nothing but more of “The Tests of Life.”

This is exactly what I expressed to my good buddy, completely off-the-cuff, so to speak, and he was urging me to keep giving him some more of the “AISI” vibes about life’s tests which were spewing from my mind and heart. I continued on, always being aware that my friend was hurting physically and, maybe, spiritually.

You see, my friend is a consciously aware believer in the Most Alone, but he’s become a little lazy in maintaining a faithful daily spiritual dialogue with the Creator Alone. He said as much, and I had to remind him that I too have to stay on top of my spiritual game, because the negative forces and unproductive thoughts of the mind and soul are as real as can be.

Again, I reminded my friend that one of my constant phrases, or mottos, that I use is that “one’s thoughts are synonymous to one’s actions.” I emphasized that to my buddy that his health diagnosis is not and was not the end of his life, but rather it’s another occasion extended to him by God Alone, the “All” Mighty, to regroup and take his health more seriously like we all should do, including me.

“Health is wealth,” and the living experience is nothing to play with and that goes for all “hue-mans” in every nation, culture and and ethnicity to fully grasp because the next moment is not guaranteed to any country, society or folk in existence. I tried to politely drive that unquestioned spiritual reality home to my friend from the concerns of a soul who loved him much.

I’m sure that as you read this, you’ll  should automatically know how precious each moment in the living experience really, really is. My friend said what I was relating to him about the living experiences being chocked filled with tests was making sense to him, even if he internally wanted to feel sorry for himself.

That was his frank statement to me, to which I told him that Most High Alone didn’t create him to be weak or sly amidst “The Tests of Life.” No way, the unexpected ordeals, trials, tribulations, or whatever else you want to label the difficulties in life as, they are what they are—tests galore and no more than that.

They appear in all sorts of camouflaged scenarios, aspects and disguises throughout every created being’s life without fail. I alluded to that when I continued speaking with my friend and I illustrated that his current health situation was one of his many that he had, has and will continue to have by God Alone’s mercy.

You know I had to follow that up with telling him that he’s come through so many numerous health obstacles and unrelated hurdles in his past living experiences, and he’ll come through this current phase also, by the good Lord Alone’s decree and blessing. In life tests, there’s no need to exist in an “oh, woe is me” type of mental disposition.

To the contrary, real believers put their absolute faith and trust in the Creator Alone, and when you do, you’ll see miracles occur because that type of  spiritual demeanor is the thing that does not allow a nascent “woe is me” attitude to take harvest in anyone’s mind, heart and soul. Do you feel where I’m coming from?

I hope that you do because my friend did. When you look at the game of life’s unexpected tests, trials and ordeals for what they are, you change the tenor of the game of life, if you will, in your favor. A real student of understanding the spiritual game of life knows that there are “no woe is me” on the playing fields of life.

In closing, I’d like to you, myself and others that a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist and statesman named Lucius Annaeus Seneca memorably once said, “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” I related as much to my friend  when I told him that his health concerns were the Creator Alone’s way of testing him, thereby polishing his spiritual faith.

I, too, earnestly believe that no created soul will be the very best that he or she can be without first being put through some sort of hardships. That goes for all “hue-mans,” including my friend. So, hang in there, good buddy. “This too shall past,” and since you asked for it, that’s, “As I See It.”

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