My commute is not very pleasant. I’m always stuck in traffic, no matter what route I take or how early or late I leave. I usually stick to the straight, one-way path. From point A to point B. It usually takes me an hour, sometimes less. But then there’s the point A to C, D, E, F to get to point B, and although it’s a longer, sort of odd, path to take, I can avoid traffic and sometimes get to point B in half the time.
Today when I was driving back home, I decided I was going to stick to the straight, A to B, path. My son was sleeping in the back, so I figured I’d be patient with the bumper-to-bumper traffic as opposed to the many turns I’d end up making on the longer but shorter route. Predestination, however, proved otherwise. And Allah had another plan for me. I didn’t realize until too late that I was merging onto an exit from the highway which leads to the longer (but shorter) path. I found myself a little frustrated that I ended up taking the “wrong” way without paying attention. I was a little more frustrated when I found that the longer (but shorter) way also had bad traffic (probably since it was a nice, sunny, Friday afternoon), so my commute was going to be just as long, if not longer. But then, looking into the rear view mirror I caught a glimpse of my son who was peacefully sleeping. Alhamdulillah. I quickly got over taking the “wrong” way and continued on.
Now, the longer way passes by the exit I would’ve had to take had I stayed on the shorter way. I noticed a lot of commotion at that point, as I slowly approached it. There were at least five cars involved in a nasty accident, two fire trucks, at least 4 ambulances, and many police cars. I started to whisper a dua’a I always say when I see an accident, when I stopped short. I recognized one of the cars involved in the crash. It had a bumper sticker that was way too wordy, but I squinted my eyes to read it anyway…when I was stuck on the first (point A to point B) road. The car that was involved in the accident was the same car that was in front of me before I deviated from my original path.
Many thoughts rushed through my mind, including “what ifs”. Allah had saved me by “misguiding” me. I didn’t mean to get off that first road, but somehow I did. I would have been very patient on the first road and stayed behind the car with the wordy bumper sticker. But Alhamdulillah I didn’t. We sometimes have things all planned out, but as much as we try to stick to them, if Allah had written for us otherwise, then our plans may not carry out as originally thought. Sometimes it’s for the best, and sometimes it doesn’t feel or seem like the best. Regardless, accepting and trusting that Allah- the All-Mighty, our Creator, the One who watches over us at all times- will guide us, provides a peaceful reassurance to the heart and mind.
Hoda a wife and a mother to a stillborn daughter in heaven and a one year old son. She is an elementary school teacher in public school and lives in Virginia.