What An American Christian Learned Living in a Muslim Country Part 4: Life is hard and I am not God.
In America we don’t want things to be hard. That is human nature I suppose. But I also think in America we try so hard to avoid suffering and to make it go away if at all possible. Not so in Morocco. The Inchallah idea (see part 2) is so strong, they tend to just accept everything as God’s will and leave it at that. I often wanted to encourage my friends (and sometimes did) to look for ways that they could find some control -- to take meaningful action steps in areas of life or circumstances that were hard for them or that seemed unjust to me. But from what I saw, they generally don’t do this too much. Though their lack of action sometimes made little "sense" to me, I also saw that there is a peace that we miss in all of our efforts to make sure that I am happy and I am getting to do whatever I feel like doing.
Though they may certainly feel sad about circumstances and go through mourning or even depression, they never seemed outraged at God or life when things don’t go their way. It seems to me that they do not feel entitled to an easy life. Though I personally may think differently from Muslims (and from many Christians) who believe that all things that happen are simply “God’s will”, there really is something to be said for how our Muslim friends are able to accept that life will be hard and that His ways are higher than ours. These are things we say we believe, but I think Muslims really get something here that we don't. In fact, I suspect our insistence on being in charge of our own lives has something to do with our being obsessed with ourselves, which ironically makes us pretty un-happy. (American Christians self-obsessed?! Gasp!)
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