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A Metaphor of Two Roads Taken At Once
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A Metaphor of Two Roads Taken At Once

As we strive to live a balanced life, staying grounded and choosing the middle path of all ideas helps us to successfully manage the longevity of life.

For starters, I would like to introduce you to the following Hadith, or saying of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) that’s narrated by his companion, Ibn ‘Umar:

“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler; If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death." (Sahih Bukhari Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Vol 8 Book 74, Chapter 2). 

It depicts what the life of a traveler is advised to be like. We’re all moving toward our final goal: Our Eternal Home (Heaven). Hopefully, after a long, happy, successful and fulfilling life. So, we have to prepare for that by using our health and life to love and do good to everyone—including ourselves— along our journey.

Take this metaphor, if you will please: As we strive for a good balance between attaining and maintaining success in our worldly life and preparing for a successful afterlife, we must walk two roads (paths), wisely and moderately balanced, at the same time: One vertical and the other horizontal. 

The horizontal road represents our striving for the best in this world. The vertical path represents our striving for the best in our afterlife. Hence, we are travelers constantly seeking guidance from Above to stay on the right path of these two mystically merged roads that will help us achieve success altogether: In this life and the next. It’s wise to constantly ask ourselves certain questions to keep us in check, or to see how balanced we are. 

For example, the horizontal road question check could be:

  • “How can I make the world a more loving place?”
  • “Am I using my gifts to help others?”
  • “Am I living my life’s purpose? 

The horizontal road depicts our life on earth through loving and helping one another, especially through sharing our gifts (beneficial skills, inventions, knowledge that comes from the heart). At the same time, we are also managing our daily life struggles. Remember the key here: It’s important to put our good intentions to good actions and manifestations.

Next, the vertical road questions can be:

  • “How can we enrich the lives of ourselves and others with love that would make God proud?”
  • “Is my spiritually higher self that’s making decisions for me today?”
  • “Am I evolving spiritually?”

This path is just as important. It’s the path of getting to know ourselves, the universe and God. This vertical path involves you working towards a successful afterlife. Remember: Purifying your inner self, heart and your intentions are important here. Remember to make decisions from your soul, or spiritually higher self, rather than your ego.

These paths merge together in the steps that we take based on our decisions that stem from Our Trust of free-will and moral obligation (will elaborate in a future blog). It’s important to use your free-will and moral obligation to make decisions that will spread goodwill and uplift yourself and others.

These two roads require loving yourself and others, having faith and having your soul in control of your ego. Now, traveling both these roads at once means that you’re in the pursuit of attaining your higher self while establishing and maintaining strong faith and while managing your daily struggles. It’s also wise to consistently make sincere prayers for guidance from God. He is Present and Always Near. 

Overall, life is a journey and our ultimate lesson is to learn how to love, actually love one another and seek guidance from God. These two simultaneously traveled metaphorical roads, the horizontal and vertical, will help us do just that. May God guide and grant us success in this life and the next, Dear Lord, Amen!



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