The Finish: Run for It

There are two ways to finish a race:

1. You seek the finish. Before you know it your tired legs are kicking without pause like the wheels of a bicycle at the speed of a car; your arms are pumping as if their movement could propel your body forward; your back is straight with the attentiveness of an A+ student and the posture of a ballerina; your breathing is loud and effort-full, heaving with an asthmatic cacophony; your head faces forward holding your faculties towards the goal; your eyes focus on the finish, and you run for it. Flying with elation, you push yourself past the point of pain, sprinting across the finish line.

2. You don’t seek the finish. Equivalently, you don’t care anymore. It’s been a never-ending journey and you are exhausted. Everything hurts. You want it to be over, and you don’t want to work anymore. You can’t point to exactly what hurts. You just want to fast forward time and erase the tired miles from your past. Eventually, the finish presents itself, and you think fi-na-lly while stumbling forward.

Ramadan is not a race; but it sometimes feels like one. It has a tangible finish line, which comes not in the form of a man-made banner; rather, the finish line for Ramadan is a sign from God. Ramadan ends when the last crescent of moon disappears from the night sky.

With just hours to go, I seek the finish. I want to finish with energy, satisfaction, and conviction. I want to finish wholeheartedly. I want to know that I worked as hard as I could. I want the physical exhaustion to vanish in the sight of spiritual elation. I want to reassure myself that even if I did not meet my goals, I will continue to improve and strengthen myself, using any unfinished gaps as motivation to train for next Ramadan.

 وَلِكُلٍّ۬ وِجۡهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيہَا‌ۖ فَٱسۡتَبِقُواْ ٱلۡخَيۡرَٲتِ‌ۚ أَيۡنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأۡتِ بِكُمُ ٱللَّهُ جَمِيعًا‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬

To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah hath power over all things.” Holy Qur’an, 2:148

Let’s run for it!