A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the treetop, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow…he loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. Time went by…the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree every day.
One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad. “Come and play with me” the tree asked the boy. “I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees any more” the boy replied.
“I want toys. I need money to buy them.” “Sorry, but I do not have money… but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money.” The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad.
One day, the boy who now turned into a man returned and the tree was excited “Come and play with me” the tree said. “I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?” “ Sorry, but I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.” So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.
One hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted. “Come and play with me!” the tree said. “I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?” said the man. “Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.” So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.
Finally, the man returned after many years. “Sorry, my boy. But I do not have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you …” the tree said. “No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite” the man replied. “No more trunk for you to climb on” “I am too old for that now” the man said. “I really cannot give you anything… the only thing left is my dying roots” the tree said with tears. “I do not need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years” the man replied. “Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest, Come, come sit down with me and rest.” The man sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears…
This is a story for everyone.The tree is like our parents. When we were young, we loved to play with our Mum and Dad…
When we grow up, we leave them…only come to them when we need something or when we are in trouble.
No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they could just to make you happy.
You may think the boy is cruel to the tree, but that is how all of us treat our parents. We take them for granted we don’t appreciate all they do for us, UNTIL it’s too late. May Allah SWT forgive us of our shortcomings and may He Guide us in sha Allah.
“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.And that you be duitful too your parents.Tf one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect nor shout at them but address them in terms of Honour”
(Surah Al-Isra’ 17;23)
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young ’ ” [Surah Al-Isra’ 17-24]
So many of us suffer from misdirected hopes. Some of us expect perfection from ourselves. Some are seeking the perfect relationship, or spouse, or friendship. Some want the perfect body or perfect career. But we all suffer from the same ailment, in different forms. Instead of seeking perfection in jennah, we seek it from this life, and get burned in the process. Like a person sprinting tirelessly on a treadmill, we give our everything to the endeavor, but we move nowhere.
Learn to accept, and even appreciate, this life for what it is: a place of lessons, hard work, imperfection, striving, and moments of pleasure. It wasn’t created to be perfect. And it wasn’t created to last. The sooner we redirect our hopes and striving, the sooner we can step off the treadmill.
And enter the Real race.