I have just purged a massive project, deleting every single file and every copy on every backup disk. Gigabytes of data. Months, if not years of work.
You would say, “But why, Tim? Do you never learn?” But this is called the sanity check. The soul reset. Purifying one’s intentions. Acknowledging the error of my ways. Reclaiming time. Making way for something better. Fixing my relationship with my Lord. Recognising that it was pointless, of no benefit to me or others. Understanding where it was carrying me. Remembering that we have a higher calling. The desire to seek the pleasure of the One. Turning away from the diseases of my heart. Seeking our true reality.
I will admit that it pained me. I have been contemplating this course of action for quite some time, but it is always hard to pull the plug on what you have invested so much time and effort in. That other inner voice is persuasive: it called me to persevere, to see the project through to completion, despite even it recognising that it was pure folly. But the other voice won the day, recognising that I would need to spend months if not years more to reach completion. And to what end? This was simply a repeat of projects I pursued previously, only to discover nobody was interested in them at all. To that voice which petitioned me to hold on, I recite:
By the sun and his brightness, and the moon when she follows him, and the day when it reveals him, and the night when it enshrouds him, and the heaven and Him Who built it, And the earth and Him Who spread it out, and a soul and Him Who perfected it and inspired it with awareness of what is wrong for it and what is right for it, he is indeed successful who purifies it, and he is indeed a failure who neglects it.Qur’an 91:1-10
This soul doesn’t have time to waste on such folly, whatever counter arguments it puts forth. No, the time had come to call in demolition, like so many times before, to break these inner idols. Once more I had to ask myself, “Will you leave all of this behind?” For the sake of my soul, there could only be one response. Once more it is time to repent and purify myself, hoping for the mercy of my Lord.
Do they not know that God extends or restricts provision for whom He wills? Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”Quran 39:52-3
Oddly, I don’t feel the anguish of regret just now. I feel light, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Of course there is still time. No doubt I will be stirred awake in the middle of the night, asking myself what I have done, if not immediately then in weeks to come. It is ever thus. But for now, there is this inner peace — a surety that I have finally done the right thing. Here the sanity check of this wayward soul. One avenue closed, others still to contemplate.