I love puzzles. There is something about a puzzle that is so exciting. I enjoy opening the box and pouring out the pieces and seeing all the possibilities laid before me. I love getting the pieces organized into their respective piles. The sense of order just makes me smile. Once they are in their color-coordinated piles, I tackle the frame, starting with the corners and working around until all the pieces are in place. There is a system and a process to puzzles in which I find such comfort. Order, system, and processesthese are the things that make puzzle exciting for me.
But puzzles, like life, can be frustrating. With a puzzle, the end result is right there on the box top for me to see. The vision is so clear. The end result is undeniable. I know exactly what it’s supposed to look like when it is done just like I know what my life is supposed to look like. I know as a Christ follower that I am supposed to reflect the fruits of the spiritlove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-controlbut that’s not always the case. I know I am supposed to love God and love my neighbor, but I don’t always do that as well as I should. It can be very frustrating if I focus on what is not yet done instead of what I am doing. So a puzzle helps me remember not to be frustrated but instead to be patient with the process and to take it one step at a time.
Sometimes, like with life, I try to place the wrong piece in my puzzle. I will try and try to make that piece fit where it doesn’t belong, insisting that I am right and that the puzzle must make a way for my piece. Sometimes I need to walk away from my puzzle. A bit of a break gives me a new and fresh perspective. I find that when I come back to my puzzle, I have a renewed energy and excitement. I’m ready to tackle the challenge again. This works in life, too. Walking away and getting a new perspective always changes how I face the next day.
Sometimes when I work on a puzzle I get into such a zone that it is almost like meditation. I have such focus on my goal; everything is coming together perfectly. Things just fall into place. Life is like that, too. Working on puzzles helps me remember that life is a processsanctification is what John Wesley called itand more importantly that I am a work in progress.