All Strength and Power belong to God

Last weekend, after a string of hired lawn care professionals, I decided to retake the reigns and start getting some honest exercise again. So on my way home from work last Friday, I stopped by the Home Depot and grabbed some 40:1 oil for the weed eater, came home, fetched the gas can and went to get some fresh fuel for the mower, and then got to work…After watching the professionals for a year or more, I realized the benefit of doing the weed eating first, and so went around the yard with the weed eater. It coughed and sputtered a bit at the beginning, but ran fine once the fuel got worked into everything.

With the weed eating done, sloppily, due to vastly decreased upper body strength/dexterity from not doing the lawn care work for awhile, I moved on to the mowing.

I poured fuel into the tank and yanked the cord… nothing.

I yanked again… nothing.

And again… nothing.

And again… nothing.

Alhamdulillah. I thought maybe it was the spark plug, so I ran down to the Sears for a replacement. I installed it, said Bismillah, and yanked the cord… nothing.

Alhamdulillah, I abandoned it and went to Jummah.

After salat, I napped, and then Samie and I started messing around with it. We got it to start for a few seconds by spraying carburetor cleaner directly into the carburetor, but that was about it.

Saturday, we tried some more, or, rather, Samie tried some while I napped, and then we disassembled the carburetor and had a look: everything looked ok, but still no joy.

I thought maybe the half a can of old gas that I mixed with fresh gas maybe caused the problem, so I went and bought a new gas can and filled it with fresh gas before it got dark.

Sunday morning, I poured the fresh gas in and… you guessed it, nothing.

I didn’t cuss. I didn’t break anything. I just calmly put the mower away and went inside. I finished a couple of rolls of Delta 100 on Saturday morning, and so I decided to develop them instead. I said something to my wife like “after repeatedly failing, I want to do something that I can control, something that I know will work.”

Astaghfirullah (God forgive me)!

Sure, D76 1+1 at 68° for 12 minutes will develop Delta 100 just fine, assuming it was exposed at EI 100, but only by the Will of Allah, only because He gave humans the knowledge to make film and the chemicals needed to develop it, and only because he taught us how to communicate with one another, and only because He created the Earth and, indeed, the entire universe in such a way as to render silver halide sensitive to light, and to make certain chemicals interact with the light-struck silver, to make other chemicals rinse out un-touched silver, and He makes it rain and provides the water we need to make the chemicals and rinse the film, and He alone made it all easy to do in the bathroom or kitchen in less than an hour for very little money.

Sure, I performed the labor, I stood opened the film cans in the dark bag and wound them on the reels and put the reels in the tank and sealed the tank and poured chemicals and all, sure, but only because God gave me the strength, will, health, leisure, intelligence, etc. etc. etc. to do it, and only because He created all that exists and taught humanity how to communicate across time and distance. Had He not willed, I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all, much like He willed that some combination of circumstances led the carburetor to fail and render me incapable of mowing the yard before Jummah like I planned. Alhamdulillah, I had more leisure over the weekend than I expected, and Alhamdulillah for the sustenance necessary to purchase a new carburetor. Allahu Akbar!

God willing, I’ll share some pictures from the rolls I developed in a few days and God willing come Sunday afternoon, I’ll have a freshly mowed yard… For now, may God help me to remember Him, and give thanks to Him alone, and worship Him alone in all my activities. His is the only power. His is the only strength. His is the only sustenance. May He protect me and make me deaf to the whispers of the little devils, forgive me for my lapses and guide me to better, Ameen.

If this Reminder is of any benefit to you, it came from God alone, and if anything is wrong or causes you distress, it comes only from me and the devil.

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