Albert Einstein once said, " The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
Children are creative and their imaginations are wild. Then children start school dampening both a child's creativity and imagination. Education tends to favor a left-brain model of logic, rational thinking, systematic approaches, and accuracy. Accuracy equals the reward of a good grade. The longer we stay in an educational setting the more adept we become at left-brain thinking.
It shouldn't surprise us to use the same approach in our Christian practices. We're taught the model for success as a Christian is to go to church, pray for 1 hour, read through the Bible in a year, and serve. Each one is an important pillar of faith. It only becomes a problem when we attach a learning model to a longing for connection and intimacy.
For many reading the scriptures and prayer have become a matter of doing. It's reduced to something to be checked it off our long to-do list to ease our guilty consciouses. After all, what kind of Christain would that make us? This is when our hearts betray us and disillusionment sets in.
Our faith can become a series of outward events like bible study and small groups, all the while our hearts are in conflict. We double down in an effort to be more disciplined. But discipline won't satisfy the heart that's longing for intimacy. We try to suppress that nagging desire for something more. On the days we're brave enough, we quietly ask ourselves, Isn't there more to this Christian life? We pray in desperation for God to come down invade our private world.
What if we're just using a teaching model because we don't know any other way? I'm here to tell you there are ways to satisfy the longing of our souls without driving us to exhaustion.
Here's a right-brain model
Try to read a small portion of scripture instead of an entire chapter. Then ponder on all the ways that scripture impacts you, your friends and family, and the world.
It may turn into praise and worship for God's goodness
It may turn into prayer
It may turn into dreaming with God
It may become a conversation where you ask a question and He answers.
Notice how much more relaxing it is to let your imagination become a part of your faith-filled practice.
Pay attention to how the times flies
Pay attention to the intimacy you feel and the satisfaction it brings
Lastly, pay attention to the absence of guilt and discouragement. They vanish because your heart is full.