Don’t Burn, Learn!

By Aroob Fatima Mallhi

Today I experienced an event that was life-threateningly dangerous. There is a lot that I can say about the sheer terror and nerve-wracking fright but instead, I will share the jumble of thoughts that took birth as I lived the said episode.

Engulfed in flames

First, to eradicate the suspense, my house caught fire today. Ironically, we, the residents of that very building were completely oblivious to the state our house until outsiders came running to investigate the black fumes rocketing out of the roof.

At this point, taken with surprise and shock, I found myself imagining myself as the house. For me, the flames were synonymous to defects in my personality and the ugly facets of my character. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how completely unaware I was of the magnitude of my faults.

Though the thought of so many imperfections unsettled me, I realized how I would never be alone because the people who care about me most will try their best to rescue me and accept me as who I am. For none of us are perfect – however, only those who are sincere to us will take our imperfections, nurture them and put them aside in line with their own. If one can’t see what is wrong with him, he should not be afraid to take help in fixing it. The flames that engulfed my house brought me to the conclusion that help, in any form, must always be graciously accepted and never turned down merely to satisfy one’s ego.

Looking at a problem

By this time, the fire brigade had arrived. The swirl of thoughts kept whirring in my head for as long as the firemen took to extinguish the fire completely. Eventually, even the smoke ceased to rise to the sky and shortly after, all who had come to our aid began to slowly exit the fire-scene and go back to their normal lives.

Yet I still stood there, stationary, amidst the rubble and the ashes, absorbed by the second thought that struck my consciousness and took over me.

The unpredictability of life, the fragile nature of our being, the transitory duration of our existence on this earth – all link together to show how everything that was so dear to me could have vanished in a fleeting second and for the first time, I felt like every second of my life mattered. For the first time in years, I did not view my life in the typical teenage-fashion-series of unfortunate events that restrict me from doing whatever it is I want to do.

How you choose to take it

I contemplated life as if it were a custom-made movie which complimented my existence perfectly. Today I realize how important it is to be grateful for everything. Every scene, every line in the script, and every cast member that somehow played a role in the movie of my life deserved every ounce of my gratitude for their contribution in making me the person I am today.

Take all events as a blessing though they may seem like a curse at the time. God expresses His love for us by putting us in challenging situations because He wants to bring out the best in us. After all, a diamond is only a chunk of coal if it is not put under immense pressure.

I believe with my heart that my house caught fire because God thought me worthy to experience such an extraordinary event. I say, my house caught fire,so it could ignite the fire in my soul and motivate me to bring about change.