The Snowball Metaphor

*Dedicated to anyone who needs this reminder as much as I do.


Ever feel like there’s a giant snowball rolling uncontrollably behind you,

growing bigger and gaining momentum & speed the faster you run away from it? You’re afraid to pause, to catch your breath, to do something spontaneous that you enjoy, because you know what will happen then! You assume (like most people) that if you halt momentarily, that angry snowball will collide into you with such force that you will be crushed– or at the very least, it will swallow you up and lose you in it, all the meanwhile getting larger and more chaotic. You assure yourself that it’s only a matter of time before spring is here and the snowball will melt. Eventually anyways.

But it doesn’t. Whether it be winter, spring, summer or winter, it stays stubbornly round and frozen, consuming your energy and health, while you continue to jump over obstacles and hurdles in an attempt to get away from it. It seems that the faster you run, the more persistent the snowball becomes. It finally consumes you, destroys you, just like you earlier predicted… except it did so while you were trying to escape it.

Do you know why the snowball-monster never melted? Do you know why you were never allowed to take a break?

Because you never deliberately make the time for it.

(What’s that, you don’t ‘have’ time? Nope, excuse doesn’t work. Been there, done that.)

Has the possibility ever crossed your mind that maybe, just perhaps, however incredulously– but just humor me here!– has it ever crossed your mind that if you paused for a bit, took a bit of deep breaths, stretched a bit, laughed a bit, prayed a bit, ate a bit, worked a lot, ate some more, stretched some more, prayed some more, worked much more, and on and on– have you ever considered the possibility that perhaps, if you ignore the snowball and continue living at a steady, walking pace, you might actually get things done efficiently?

Won’t the snowball collide into me? You wonder in wonder. Won’t I be forever lost in the coldness and darkness of it all?

No, you won’t. I assure you, you will be fine. 🙂 You see, that snowball is the metaphor of your thoughts. It doesn’t actually exist. Its fictitious appearance has a sole function– to chase you. The moment you stop running, it will merely pose near you, waiting for you to start panicking and running full-blast again. It’s a sick game it likes to play with your mind– just like your thoughts sometimes mess with you. But if you merely continue taking things one step, one day, one hour, one minute at a time– eventually you will amaze yourself at how much you accomplish! And the whole meanwhile, that bored snowball is melting.

Yet you still don’t acknowledge it. Melt, melt, melt! You can’t afford to have mercy on the snowball. That snowball is symbolically hinting to you that you should work from dawn until dusk with no breaks, because you can’t afford any. You should be one of the many unfortunate billions of people who exist, but don’t truly live.

No, you don’t need a break to pray, He’ll understand, Mr.Snowball says– for I will crush you if you stop doing whatever it is you must urgently be doing.
No, you can’t spare five minutes to call up your mother and make her day, she knows how busy you are– for I will crush you.
No, you shouldn’t take up any kinds of sports, or do any kind of art for fun, or relax at all, for academics are too important, it says. Besides, I will crush you.

But you decide you absolutely MUST ignore his words, for you acknowledge he’s only a figment of your imagination after all. He will slowly disintegrate until he’s a harmless puddle of water.

Image“I’ve had thousands of problems in my life, most of which never actually happened.”

(Mark Twain)

Moral of the story? Take things one step at a time. Don’t start running, thinking you will get to your destination faster. If you must run, take breathers along the way: take those yoga classes, have discussions with friends over coffee, read books, eat good food, make new friends, try new things, be more courageous…

Above all, transcend from merely remembering yourself and remember your Lord often, especially when you ‘don’t have enough time’. Even if that’s as simple as taking a moment in your hurried walk to smell a flower and glorify the Creator through His creation…

Just keep living with purpose. Make the moments count, and not the counting make your moments.


~And Allah knows Best.


3 comments on “The Snowball Metaphor

  1. Pingback: The Importance of Busy-ness | mindyummy

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