Math is my worst subject. My brain doesn’t think in linear fashion. (Unlike Sophie who attended Calculus Camp in high school, which she insists is “normal”, but that is another post altogether…) To complete my liberal arts degree I was forced to complete one math related course of study, and so I chose “Problem Solving”. This appealed to me and my logical brain. Solving theoretical life issues using a marginal amount of math sounded right up my alley. We covered estate dividing, a bunch of graphs and whatnots, and the concept of “bin packing”. Bin packing simply states that in order to fit all objects into the desired space, you must begin with the largest objects first. If you are trying to fit rocks into a wheelbarrow, you cannot put all the small and medium sized rocks in the wheelbarrow first. You put the largest rocks in first, then fill in the gaps with medium and smaller rocks. Otherwise everything won’t fit.
We visited a monastery in France this summer. Taize is a community established during World War II to bring peace, healing, and reconciliation to all people. Brother Emile is a Christ-follower and wise man who lives and ministers at this monastery in the French countryside. When our group questioned Brother Emile about daily life in the community, he shared with us his typical routine. The brothers begin and structure their days around three prayer gatherings. Then comes cooking, cleaning, study, small groups, leading, travel, working, etc. His days were surprisingly filled to the brim. After listing everything he said, “That is why we build our day around prayer, because the day fills up.”
I sat in that simple room and realised: if life at a monastery fills up, how ridiculous of me to think that my spiritual growth could happen as an after thought. Why do we try to add spiritual disciplines after school, work, chores, social time? It is time to utilize my college math skills. What needs to go in before the day fills up?
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving”
1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.”
What do you need to rearrange?
Why don’t we value prayer as highly as we should?