Under the category of “created unique,” I find myself enjoying puzzles. Something about the mundane task, problem solving, watching a picture get revealed piece by piece, that is pleasant experience for me. I’ll confess I like a challenge, but not too much of a challenge. There are puzzles I have never put together, I’m not interested in “diabolical” level in putting one together.
In college I worked at a home for the physically and mentally handicapped. We had a guy on our unit named…well… Mr. Awesome(HIPPAA laws). Anyway, Mr. Awesome was non-verbal, confined to a wheelchair and had one arm that was able to be used for tasks. Mr. Awesome loved puzzles and would, get this, put his puzzles together upside down, just the cardboard on the back. For him it was all about the shapes.
The picture on the box is an indispensable help in the process of putting the otherwise confusing mess together. Which door goes where? In the chaos of life, we are not always offered a picture, we are just given the pieces. I am pretty sure that the way spiritual growth happens is much like being puzzled? A piece here, a piece there, in the beginning things don’t always make sense.
But when I gaze at the puzzle for awhile, I begin to notice the slightest color difference between black, dark navy and the green that belongs in the darkest part of the forest. Things begin to differentiate themselves and the clarity grows. It’s why I don’t like leaving and coming back to it, it takes time to reorient myself, to make progress.
For those of you trying to put your spiritual puzzle together, there is a picture we cannot see… for
“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Piece by piece we operate in faith, and trust this picture that God already sees, but we are waiting on. Seeing through a mirror dimly and struggling to piece all of this together, some of the picture can be seen. God has been gracious to give us some of the edge pieces, knowing the boundary of life, he’s filled in the important subject matter, love God, love people, do justly, love mercy, walk humbly, be Holy, love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you, and forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Being puzzled can stir up our anxiety, but it also is the good soil of faith formation as we trust that the picture He is creating with our life is some good handiwork. The best handiwork requires a lot of chisels and a great vision of what could be. the invitation; trust God with both!!