Life's Journey

Puzzles

 

Recently I just worked a 2,000 piece Puzzle which was given to me as a Christmas gift.

  • One of the pleasures in this life that I enjoy is seeing projects come together; basically out of nothing.
  • You create a lovely or interesting picture out of a box filled with nothing more than a jumbled mess.
  • For many of us our lives are; or we have gone through times when we also are in pieces that need to be put back together again.

In life and in doing Jigsaw Puzzles you need to decide how to approach the project. 

  • You can’t just take all those loose pieces toss them up in the air and expect the end result to be a beautiful picture.
  • For myself, I see many parallels between creating a finished Puzzle and making a life that is enjoyable and fulfilling for each one of us.

Before you can get started, a choice has to be made.

  • What picture do you want to put together or how will you put your life together?
  • Once that decision has been made the process of creation begins.
  • The duplication of the picture on the box front is your goal.
  • Before you start working, a plan needs to be devised that enables that goal to be reached.

Next, I look at what is there to work with, and get the pieces organized.

  • Start with separating the pieces; which entails finding the borders, corners and separating the dominating colors.
  • The more muted colors are mixed together, and saved for when the main focus is close to being completed.
  • Take care of the big things first, and then add in the background pieces.
  • Along the way be careful that no pieces are lost.
  • One missing piece will make the picture incomplete, which means the goal cannot be adequately attained.

The border of our Puzzle represents the boundaries of our lives.

  • Wether we want to admit it or not, boundaries help us function in a better and more positive way.
  • Total freedom leads only to confusion and disarray; nothing can be accomplished.
  • In this day and age we can certainly observe this going on all around us in just about any avenue of life you choose to name.

There is an illustration about children playing in a fenced school yard during recess. They were playing ball, chase, hopscotch and all other such games; thoroughly enjoying themselves. Someone with authority decided the fence was unnecessary and had it removed. An interesting phenomena happened. The children no longer played happily, but huddled together in the middle of the school ground. The lesson learned here….the fence made the children feel secure, they knew what their limits were. The same is true for us, we all need boundaries.   

The corners of our Puzzle represents the anchors of our lives.

  • A ship drops anchor so it will not drift into danger, but remain stable in its berth or in a storm.
  • At one time there was a game called Sandlot Baseball in which none of the bases were tied down like they are on a regulation baseball field.
  • Batters would run to or slide into first base, and before long first base would be in right field.
  • Why? Because the base was not correctly anchored, it could not hold up to the stress put upon it.
  • When we buy a home or a piece of land, it is surveyed and the corners are marked.
  • These landmarks define the ownership of said property.
  • Stable landmarks define what our life consists of, and it states for all….Who we belong to.
  • The Bible in Psalms speaks of not removing the ancient landmarks.

The bold colors in our Puzzle represent the major focus of our lives. 

  • Our choices, faith, family, friends, occupation, interests, attitude, etc.
  • They are the big picture we reveal to others.
  • They are our contentment, happiness, and the foundation of who we are.

The muted colors of our Puzzle represent the shadows, difficulties and struggles of our lives.

  • If it wasn’t for these hazy, defused tones; the predominate bold colors would never be seen.
  • In life there is the good and bad, white and black, joy and sorrow, peace and discontentment.
  • The negative brings more beauty to the positive. (Check out a dark room sometime).
  • For balance and growth we need a range of colors to make a beautiful picture.

The backside of our Puzzle is grey and dull.

  • There is nothing interesting to see.
  • Who wants to observe a Puzzle like that.
  • There’s not one thing that speaks to us in any way.
  • Is this what our lives show to others?
  • Do we huddle in the middle of the school yard, and never really live the life that was meant for us?

Or, does the finished scene of our Puzzle, and our lives bring pleasure to those who take the time to see the picture in front of them? 

  • Do we provide happiness and a challenge to those we come into contact with each and every day?
  • In working your Puzzle make sure you have a goal, find the borders, corner pieces, both bright and muted colors.
  • Get to work and you will be surprised at how enjoyable the time invested in the finished product can be.

As I finish these words, I leave you with a personal experience from my life that I reflect on every once in a while. I had volunteered myself to decorate a bulletin board in a young married Sunday School classroom. Instead of purchasing supplies for the project, I remembered I had an old Puzzle (I save puzzles and rework them at a later date.) It was 1,000 pieces of a New England scene with a lovely white church and steeple in the middle of all the colorful fall leaves. The decision was made to put it together, glue it, and hang it on the bulletin board. So I finished the Puzzle, but to my dismay there was one piece missing. Time and work wasted. Suddenly I had a brain storm. Quickly I located some construction paper, scissors; went to work making lettering for the board in the classroom. The newly worked Puzzle was hung in the classroom under this inscription: “Is God The Missing Piece In Your Life?” Think about this, and if the question fits you or the Puzzle of your life !!      

 

“But in the front a picture fair

Rewards the worker for his care,

Proving his skill and patience rare.

Thou are the Workman, I the frame.

Lord, for the glory of Thy Name,

Perfect Thine image on the same.”

(Streams In the Desert)

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