By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
Why does it take a lifetime to figure things out? Why does it take such a long time to make the journey to the goal of understanding ourselves and the world around us? These are rhetorical questions, of course. The answer is: things take as long as they take and there is no other answer as far as I know.
Was the snail ever discouraged by the long trip to the safety of understanding and enlightenment? How could he not be, considering the distance and the agonizingly slow means of transportation he had. Was he further discouraged by the mountainous burden he had to carry with him? Was he envious of the frogs and lizards who were going passt him so fast he could hardly see them and did he feel unjustly left behind by them? Did he want to hitch a ride on the back of some more successful traveler?
Did he take a break? Did he ever stop to rest because he was exhausted with the journey? Did he feel guilty about that?
Was he ever overcome by the futility of his attempt to reach the ark in time and did he therefore stop and relax for a while? Did he decide to hell with it and succumb to the pleasures along the way, forgetting what his journey was about?
Did he fear the door would close before he got there thus condemning him to die with the rest of the sluggards and ignorant? Did that anxiety overwhelm him? Was he even afraid that if he did get there in time Noah wouldn't allow him in? What if other snails had already entered and he would be unneeded? Would he then be rejected?
What if the rain came before he got there and he was abandoned to it?
What thoughts must have entered his little mind during that long and painful trip that tried to persuade him to stop and give up? And why didn't he give in to them? Why didn't he give up?
I've been on that long and painful snail's pace toward wisdom for almost 70 years. Why don't I give up?
DB - The Vagabond