Whenever you play Sudoku there is always a point when you get stuck. You systematically go through all the digits, but there seems to be no way ahead. If you are a newbie to these puzzles, you might think to yourself that the compiler has obviously made a mistake. A seasoned player simply knows they are stuck.
I do remember when the grid with numbers, seen over people’s shoulders in their newspapers, seemed to make as much sense as hieroglyphics. A closer inspection, reading the instructions, left me little wiser.
Still, those days are far gone. In fact, I love the Killer Sudoku puzzles. Tougher the better.
I once explained how Sudoku puzzles work as part of a sermon. At least one person was intrigued by starting to realise how they crack, and became an addict. Sorry, if you’re reading. You know who you are!
If you are stuck, best thing to do is stop. It’s like having arrived at the high jump, and you haven’t got the momentum clear it. No point trying from there. You’ll only manage a few inches off the ground. Go and have a brew, and when you have had a break, go back to the start line, know that you can clear it, and give it another go. Usually, it cracks quite quickly. You put the last number in, and you can’t even remember what the problem was that foxed you. You’re ready for the next puzzle.
When Jesus taught us to be persistent in prayer, I think it was the same lesson. It is not to keep repeating the same prayer. It is to stand back. Know there is an answer. Know you will find it. Have a brew. Go back to the start line, and run, committing yourself.
You may get closer this time. You will know that. You are closer to the answer. Learn the thrill of prayer. It is enmeshed with patience.