When I was a little girl, racing games were one of my favorites among the then scantily available collection of computer games.
It’s weird and tomboyish, I know, right? But my excuse is that I grew up with five uncles of similar age and tastes. I remember how we used to queue up, all excited for our turn to come, each of us with our own favorite car types. I remember preferring the small cars that were very easy to navigate; although relatively slow, they were especially suitable for difficult terrains, pinpoint turns, and narrow alleyways.
Others might have preferred really fast cars that would fly over long, straight roads but crash at every turn; someone else would prefer cars that accelerated really fast, and thus wouldn’t stop running even after a severe accident; others would like formidable buses that couldn’t be overthrown.
Lessons to Learn from Games
Enough about cars. Now let’s talk about what matters to the most of us. Each of us is a unique person, an individual, a blend of different qualities and failings, and different strengths and weaknesses. We don’t have the choice of what kind of blend we want for ourselves. That’s done by God the infinitely wiser than us.
And [by] the self and He who proportioned it, and inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness. (Quran 91:7-8)
So if I prefer slow cars with the ability to instantly adjust to changing circumstances, I don’t have the option to select the same quality for myself no matter how much I admire it in others; instead I get the cars that speed away like super jets but crash at every turning.
… Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (Quran 2:216)
The right kind of car for us is that which our Creator selected for us, even if we hate it.
Reflect a lot on this, because it’s essential to “know thyself,” and even more essential to accept your virtues and vices, driving your car according to its limitations and strengths.
After all, no matter what sort of car we drive, we’re all driving along the same Path– Sirat al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path)— and towards the same destination– Allah’s pleasure and Paradise.
Race toward forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and earth, prepared for those who believed in Allah and His messengers. That is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty. (Quran 51:21)
So, even if you crash, pick yourself up and try, try again.
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. (Quran 3:103)
We can’t win by bumping others out of the way– it will damage us too. We can only win by helping each other reach our destination, for “the wolf eats up a solitary sheep that stays far from the flock.”