In The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, there is a wonderful analogy given in the introduction to Ephesians:
"Twentieth-century archaeology has uncovered several curious things about the ancient Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Among them is the random design of the southern stairs, which carried weary pilgrims from the Typropoean Valley several hundred feet up to the Temple itself. It was discovered that the steps were an engineering nightmare. The rise of the steps varied in some instances by several inches, while the stretch often varied by several feet. The conclusion was as painful as it was obvious: either the design engineers were incompetent or intoxicated! The ancient rabbis, our primary teachers in spiritual formation, however, had a different take. They thought theologically about this matter as well as every other. In their view, the engineers of the ancient Temple Mount knew that to ascend the hill of the Lord hurriedly and without thought would be spiritually ill-advised. You must approach the Temple as you would approach God, cautiously and with measured steps. These uneven steps to the presence of God are a metaphor for reading Ephesians, and indeed the entire Bible, with a view toward spiritual formation. Read it slowly and cautiously or else you fall!"
I guess they thought getting close to God was not something that happened through mere repetition of activity — it required conscious thought, step by step.