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The big 3-0 is coming soon for me. The number seems unreal, when did that happen and what have I done with my life so far?  Life was going fast and I took a moment to reflect on a memory that seemed like it was only yesterday.

It was 1992, and I was in New York at an auntie’s house –I was wearing a navy blue velvet dress with sparkly black shoes and was surrounded by family and friends. There was a huge cake with 8 candles.

“Your 8 right now but before you know it you will be 18.”

Said my friend’s teenage brother and I remember looking at the guy, incredulously – first of all he had never said a word to me before and also WHAT? I was turning 8, what did he mean that I would soon be 18?

Fast forward to present day and I wish I could tell him that he was right. Before I knew it I turned 18 and now I’m about to turn 30.

Time is a blessing given to us by God. There is no other way to describe it. Time is a dimension that was created by God for us. There is a chapter in the Quran, “The Passing of the Time” in which Allah (God) addresses time:

“By the time!Surely man is in loss, except those who believe and do good, and exhort one another to Truth, and exhort one another to patience.” –Quran chapter 103

The above verse reminds me that the way I live my life is how I will be able to determine my success. I am guilty of being caught up in the proverbial rat race. That race is based on time and the finish line is based on materialistic happiness.

So as I start a new chapter in my life – While I realize the importance of professional growth and a savings account. I think the bigger question that I need to ask myself is how much time have I invested with my prayers, have I done something to help someone and how am I making the world a better place?

The Prophet Muhammadphas taught me many valuable lessons. One that comes to mind, as both a new year anda birthday come up, is whenHemade the analogy of the believers in the world being like a traveler. Just like a traveler never gets too comfortable in a terminal at an airport – the believers also should treat their life on earth as a journey. The final destination is to be reunited with our God in paradise.

So as I sit and think about how I should celebrate my 30th birthday, I am torn. On the one hand I want to get my friends together and go out and enjoy. On the other hand I want to reflect and ponder on the meaning of life.

The great prophets of the past were insightful and wise people who took the opportunity to reflect and meditate on the world and the signs around them. I feel that most of my life so far has just been a rush. I’ve been rushing to become an adult, a mom, a professional. Most days I feel like I am zooming around shuttling myself and my kids into our scheduled lives. This year I look forward to spending time with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. I want to talk to God, I want to ask Him questions and to reflect on life’s lessons and the blessings that He has bestowed upon me throughout the years.

I absolutely believe that age is a blessing – until you get older you don’t appreciate your youth. My prayer,as I turn one year older, is for God to make me like a traveler who is concerned about reaching my final destination – Paradise – Ameen.