“You know what we doed in camp today?” the little boy, who couldn’t have been older than three, asked his mother, with an adorable ignorance of the rules of grammar. “We ranned around and we wuz sooo tired”. I smiled as I eavesdropped on the conversation between this young tike and his mom. The conversation was very sweet and the love they shared with one another was obvious.
I just started my newest training program for my next marathon. My every day is regimented in terms of mileage and pace. I am hoping that this coming race will be the one where I qualify for the Boston Marathon and fulfill my running dream. Still, the rigidity of the training is a challenge for me. I sometimes miss the earlier days of my running when I just ran and felt happy to be able to do so. In a sense, I have traded the joy of running for greater success.
I know many, if not most of the laws necessary to pray properly according to Jewish law. I am careful to follow the various rules of grammar as I pronounce each word. My prayer has technical accuracy but often seems to lack any inner feeling. It is as if the better I get at following the rules, the farther I get from God.
To be sure, I do not think there has to be a choice between technical accuracy on the one hand and beauty and grace on the other. The greatest musicians, athletes and religious personalities seems to combine the two. Still, for those of us who struggle to put the whole package together, I am not so sure that the heart should not come before the head.
PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer: