I happen to be a fan of Sudoku. I’ve always loved logic puzzles, and when I discovered Sudoku about 10 years ago, I was hooked. The essence of the game is that you have numbers 1-9 to fill in to the squares, without repeating any of them in any row, column, or 9-square section.
Sometimes, I think the Divine likes to play with me while I play the game. I’ve had some interesting spiritual lessons through the medium of Sudoku.
One lesson was to have a method or particular approach to solving the puzzle. Unless it’s a super-easy puzzle, going about it hap-hazardly won’t get you very far.
This is true of many things in life. We may try something and if it doesn’t work right away, we give up. We jump around from one thing to another.
How about stick with one path for a while, and see where it leads? It could be just around the bend that you’ll have a lovely vista. Or a part of the puzzle will finally come together.
It’s also true of meditation. You may sit down and start with focusing on your breath. But after a few seconds, you’re bored. So you switch to a mantra. Then you wonder if the breath wasn’t perhaps a better idea, so you go back to that. But maybe you just didn’t pick the right mantra. Before you know it, your mind has flip-flopped all around and within five minutes you decide you’re just too restless and give up.
Pick a particular method and stick with it. Follow the path it leads you on. It doesn’t matter so much which method, just hold steady to it. That will do a lot more for quieting your mind than continually changing it.
Then, there are times when I’m working on a difficult puzzle and I get terribly stuck. I’m frustrated. I think I just can’t solve it. So I set it aside for a while. I mean like for days or weeks.
Recently, I had just finished up a Sudoku book of puzzles, and was going to toss it (in recycle, of course). I remembered, though, that I still had several difficult puzzles that were half-solved, given up on a couple months ago. I decided to give it a go again.
That night, I solved two of them in short order!
Many great scientists have discovered this gift… that letting go of the problem sometimes allows the solution to show up spontaneously. Letting go for a while allows us to relax, which is half of the battle.
Additionally, when we step away for a bit, we step into a different perspective. From another point of view, we may more easily see the solution to a dilemma – or a puzzle.
Better yet, sometimes letting go and being patient allows problems to solve themselves. Maybe we’ll see that they weren’t really a problem in the first place.
That’s something beyond a puzzle of logic – that’s letting go and letting God!
Do you have Sacred Sudoku stories, too?
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