Haste & reflecting on Signs

I want my meaning and I want it now. And if I don’t find it immediately, I readily abandon my concern for truth and accept some kind of meaning to avoid being in a state of deprivation, ignorance and frustration and, perhaps most importantly, from fear of being alone (as if feeling confused and left out, for no reason, while others, I imagine, enjoy the goods of adequate, common understanding and meanings that allow them to live, I imagine, happy, socially recognized, more or less “normal” lives). Just do it, goes the claim. What is done is, many claim, is meaningful by reason that it is done in common and by common agreement that it is something to be done. Such is the haste that is in the doing and the haste for which matters of truth and reflection are expendable afterthoughts and extras.

I find revelation’s description of human beings as hasty beings to be quite applicable to me (think Moses asked to take off his shoes because he is, as I ought to be if I am to follow him, on sacred ground and is going to encounter the divine while he imagined he is going to quickly get some fire for his needs). Sacred meanings that revelation wants me (as follower of Moses) to become concerned with, to learn and recognize, are meanings that tell me about my maker and sustainer and not about the things or actions themselves. They demand continuous reflection, and patient seeking on my part and are granted as sustenance by the sustainer as signs of His mercy and light. They are not some hard-earned and merited, tangible intellectual acheivements that I can assuredly get by putting in some requisite hours or days of labor or work. Revelation’s signs are signs to the Lord of beings, including myself, and not about the things themselves. These signs bring me to the One I can trust with all my needs (the assumption is that I need someone I can trust), an awareness of the sustainer and creator of things and the safety and security of being in His hands and of being His creature.

Signs in revelation are signs of God because they take me back to God – if I read them as signs of God. They are no longer signs if they do not take me to Him and remind me of Him or make me aware of Him but of something else. I should reflect on them in order to find the safety they claim to bring to me – the safety of being with God and the safety of being sure about the other life, a life without death, a life everlasting.

And clear signs are clear because they make clear to me how my safety and contentment and peace are only with God, the eternal sustainer and creator and not with created beings themselves. Beings are signs, clearly serving their purpose of making my sustainer and His actions known to me.

The hasty person leaves with what they were in a haste to get or attain and only something that is expected immediately is something i am hasty about. If I knew that what I was after may not be possible to get quickly, I would not take up haste in relation to it. When I am not after the meaning and truth about my life, it is easy to be hasty. But meanings and truth of my life are tied to the need for the same as these are made known to me as I reflect about my life in an on-going way. The patiently reflecting person is given an awareness of the Source to which signs point him/her to. God is with the patient is a claim about finding God by patiently reading and listening to the signs that take one to His presence. Haste is not compatible with reflecting on the signs.

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

%d bloggers like this: