For the majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, jihad is a word that literally means “to struggle.” It’s a concept within Islam that represents a commitment to serve God, to be good to yourself and to your neighbors.
~ Carol Kuruvilla Associate Religion Editor, Huffington Post, 03-28-16
Struggling or having challenges in life is something we all face. We struggle with writing papers and articles, with taking tests, with driving in traffic, doing our jobs and many other tasks and relationships.
Just because we find ourselves in these very human modes, doesn’t mean we are going to go berserk or crazy. Sometimes it does, but in most cases we turn to a friend, or our version of God for help. We oft times turn to a higher sense of purpose within ourselves to give some perspective to our struggles. And, isn’t that key to our healing?
I joined a Medical Mission to Tanzania in Africa in 2007, and did a little research on the area and Africa in general before I embarked on the mission. I found the average earnings in Tanzania annually is $365. That’s a dollar a day. How many of us could live on a dollar a day in this country, or even $5 a day? Few of us I would guess. I remember being in my teens and reading all these articles of exploring Europe on $5 a day. But $1 a day, and many with families!
Muslims and Christians live together in peace in Tanzania, and religion is a large part of life. Yet, when I got there, while I saw dirt roads, and simple structures, I was amazed that the majority of the people that we treated were only grateful. Grateful for everything in their lives. I some cases their clothing was thread bare, but their spirits were always high. They were loving, warm, and outgoing, and the children were always curious. It didn’t seem like they even knew the word poor. They were living life! And, they addressed their challenges one at a time.
Are you grateful for where you are? Would you be willing to reach out to God when you are challenged?
~rev jim starke