Wave goodbye to Ramadan. Say hello to your new plan.
If you’ve ever had any building work done at home you’ll know that there’s a lot of Shawshank before you experience any Redemption. There’s the dust for starters. Multiple decisions need to be made simultaneously often under extreme time and financial pressure. Then there’s the dust. Well-intentioned plans need to be redrawn. Did I mention the dust? However, despite the intensity of the building period, the end result - a new extension, a loft conversion or even a redecorated room - certainly sparks joy and reminds us of the art of the possible.
In a similar vein the physical and spiritual struggles of the month of Ramadan are akin to the challenges a building project presents. Except in this situation the project to be remodelled and reconstructed is you! Hopefully we wave goodbye to the month of Ramadan with a spiritually spring-cleaned interior.
After a few weeks, as the building work and foundations settle, small hairline cracks may begin to appear in the plasterwork and you get busy preparing a snagging list of all the things the builder needs to sort out before signing off on that final invoice.
The Ramadan redevelopment of ourselves often follows a familiar pattern: the initial flawlessness, the hairline cracks and maybe even the wholesale collapse of the building itself!.
As with building repairs, solid foundations and early intervention are key.
The foundations that Ramadan embeds revolve around bestowing our days with a rhythm and connecting us to our Creator. The rhythm of regular prayer, routine reflection and remembrance form the concrete upon which our Ramadan new-self rests.
A lick of paint here, some builder’s caulk there, these relatively minor but important quick-fixes help keep your house in order. Similarly, the practices of gratitude, contribution and gentle accountability ensure that the shimmering facades of the buildings we create in Ramadan remain intact and continue to gleam throughout the year.