Did you ever play the game Chutes and Ladders when you were a youngster? When we’re young, it seems like a fun friendly game with a relatively low level of competition. We’re striving to reach the finish line, hoping to land at the ladders and climb ahead, and praying to avoid the chutes that drop us back onto those roads we’ve already traveled, darn it!
Only when we get older do we realize the relevance of the game. You know, when you hit one of those chutes and feel yourself falling into the effects of a memory from your past only to have to walk that road again. At least this time it’s a bit more familiar. Maybe you’ll have a better shot at landing at the ladder and avoiding the chutes.
Thank Allah (swta), there is wisdom in the repetition. We’re not expected to get everything right the first time around. It’s like walking the stations on the path to Allah, The Most High.
The first time through, we’re in the station of Listening to the Orders from the Darkness – the station of having forgotten the truth of who we are and why we’re here. We haven’t figured out yet that we’re traveling on a board game.
Then we land on a chute, and we’re going through a second time, this time we’re questioning, as in the second station of the ego, the Station of Still Questioning. This is familiar, we’re recognizing there’s more to the path than the gravel on the road, or the shiny surface of the board game, but we’re not sure which road is best to strive for.
Shoot! Another chute! But that’s okay. This time it’s getting clearer. We’re beginning to have more Faith and Trust. We’re understanding where to place the faith and trust. We’re feeling better about striving to continue on the way.
Here we go again. Another chute. But this time you feel solid. You have trust. You know this is an opportunity for deeper cleaning, and for knowing yourself more completely as you pass this way again without becoming distracted by the voices of the darkness or the voices of the ego. You are living on the inside, traveling in peace regardless of what this path holds on the outside. You are in the station of Security.
Al-humduli’llah, Praise God! Another chute! What a blessed opportunity! Thank You for bringing me along this way! Now I have tasted Your mercy and love! Thank You for all You give to me! I’m sorry that I wasted the time before and did not see Your Face when I traveled along this path. My eyes weep because I see more clearly now. Thank You! This is the station of Not Obeying Anything from the Nafs (Ego).
A chute. As You wish, my Beloved God. I accept what You give. Please teach me and show me Your Truth in everything, on the inside and the outside, and there is no inside and no outside. I am thirsty for the water of Your Love. I am hungry for the knowledge of You. Change me to be what You want from me in every step. Help me to walk only in Your way.
Chute. Yet, there is no chute and there is no ladder. There is no before and no after. There is no beginning and no end. There is only You in every step of the path, in every rung of the ladder, in every inch of the chute. No higher or lower. No winning or losing. Only Allah, The One. The Perfection. Al-humduli’llah!
We are grateful to be on the path of healing, of learning, of wisdom, of mercy.
Does that mean we’ve won? Chute! Here we go again…
Children’s games are full of wisdom. If only we had known, and Allah, swta, knows.
Perhaps this weekend you can play with the children in your life, and look for the wisdom in the games that teach them, and the games they teach us.
Have a beautiful, blessed weekend!
With love and gratitude,
Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS
Photo credits: © Sergiogen #36091062