The next day, the monks again paid to have Jims car towed and repaired. Jim went on his way, but the rest of his drive home he thought of little else but what could be behind that door. Even after he returned home the question gnawed at his brain, until his thoughts so consumed him that he could no longer focus at work, and paid little attention to his family. Consequently, Jim lost his job. Then, Marla filed for a divorce and took the kids with her to her sisters house. Jim was left with nothing, but still he wondered about that noise.
One day, Jim realized that as an unemployed bachelor he was free to do whatever he liked. So, he drove to the monastery and told the abbot that hed like to become a monk. He was going to find out what was making that noise once and for all.
Are you certain you are called to the life of a monk, my son? asked the abbot, It is not an easy path to walk.
Yeah, yeah, poverty, chastity, servitude, I can handle it.
That may be, but even to become a monk of our order, one must complete a series of tests to prove ones dedication.
Alright, so what do I have to do?
The abbot was surprised with Jims eagerness, but spoke after a moment, For the first test, you must count all the bricks in this monastery. Jim halfway expected the abbot to burst into laughter and tell him it was all a joke, but the abbots face showed no hint of a smile. Jim left the abbots chamber and began counting.
For three days Jim didnt eat, sleep, or drink; he only counted the bricks of the massive structure, inside and out. Finally he returned to the abbot and said:
Ive finished counting. There are 6,543,782 bricks in this monastery. The abbot shook his head gravely, I am sorry, my son, but you have counted incorrectly. Jim was crushed, but too exhausted to try again just yet. He slept for a whole day, then woke and ate and drank until he was full.