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Friday, June 15, 2007

P R A Y I N G

Thursday June 14, 2007

This morning I woke up around 5pm, turned on the computer, not to work on something using it but only to recharge my MP4 player. After praying Subuh (one pray Muslim do in the very early morning/dawn time), I was busy in the kitchen, to prepare something for breakfast, etc.

Finishing in the kitchen, I did my other morning household chores.

At ten to seven I was ready to take Angie to school. Unfortunately when I went to the garage, I found out that one of the tires of my motorcycle flat.  Since I had no much time left to take my motorcycle to the nearest garage, I decided to borrow my youngest sister’s motorcycle to take Angie to school.

One problem solved. I could take my motorcycle to the nearest garage later.

However, I couldn’t go to the Paradise Club fitness center because I had to go home right away since my sister would go to her office before 8am.

On my way home, I dropped by at one small temporary stall close to my house selling some traditional porridge, some Javanese salad (we call it as ‘gudangan’ and ‘pecel’, depends on the sauce we pour on it), and some other traditional Javanese food, such as ‘gethuk’ (made from cassava), ‘ketan’ (made from special rice), etc. Since there were some other buyers there already, I had to wait in line.

Not long after that, a man came. He carried quite a big pan. After serving one customer, suddenly the seller served that man (and ignoring some other female customers who had been waiting in line there for some time). She said, “Here is the only man coming here. It’s not good for a man to wait, so let me serve him first.” Nobody complained. I didn’t complain either because it even made me curious why the seller had to give the first priority to that man.

I came up to two possible answers.

1. The seller got indoctrinated that men had to be served first, or to be given the first priority because men are THE ONE, while women are THE OTHER. It means women have to be the second: second served, second priority, etc. She considered this consensus as the “decision” of God, not as social construction.

2. The seller believed that women love gossiping, and men are not supposed to know “women’s talks”. That’s why she served the man first so that he would leave the spot as soon as possible.

I very rarely go to such a place or some other small (temporary) stalls that sell vegetables, meat, etc. However, when I found some women sitting around the stall I dropped by, lingering after the seller served them, I thought that probably they were there gossiping.

After everybody else was gone, and I was the last customer there, the seller served me. She said, “Some time ago, nobody came here. I was very unhappy and at my wits’ end. What if nobody came to buy my merchandise? So, I was sitting on the bench, praying to God, mentioning God’s Asmaul Husna* many times. And alhamdulillah (thank God), many customers came after that.

I didn’t say anything. I just smiled.

On my way home, I remembered one topic discussed in one mailing list I join, whether God listens to our pray and then approves it, what if the two soccer teams play in a game, whose pray (from which team) will be listened and approved by God, etc.

I remembered someone wrote in the mailing list that he went to Church, to pray to God, not to beg something, but to thank God for all things he has got in his life. “I pray to God not for begging but for thanking,” said he confidently.

I remembered my elementary school teachers and also my parents’ advice to pray to God when I want something. “God will listen to our pray and approve it. Don’t get arrogant that when you achieve something it is all caused by your own effort, but always thank God for that.” bla bla bla … And I didn’t know yet at that time that abundant non-believers reach their dream without praying to God, but only because they believe in themselves, in their own effort and hard work.

I remembered my discussion with one workmate of mine some years ago. “When we have problems Ms. Nana, we had better go to God and pray. God has promised that God will always listen to our pray and approve it, if we have good thinking that God will do it. If, before praying we are already pessimistic that perhaps God will not approve it, God will not do it. So, believing that God will approve it is very important.”
I responded, “Don’t you know sir that our strong belief that God will approve our want will hypnotize us to work hard to make our own dream come true? So it is all back to us, our own effort, our own will.”
He smiled and said, “That’s very true too Ma’am.”

Well, I must say that this male workmate of mine belongs to person who loves peace so I suspected that he said that only to avoid friction between us. LOL.

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*Asmaul Husna = 99 other names of Allah in Islam. Muslim people are indoctrinated that by mentioning some special names of Allah in different occasions will help them make their dreams come true.

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