Many of us who don’t have essential jobs are spending a LOT of time at home now.
How are you spending it?
Have you cleaned and organized everything yet? Read some good books? Taken some naps? Spent real quality as well as quantity time with your family? Good for you!
One activity I loved growing up – but haven’t taken much time for – has recently made a comeback: Jigsaw puzzles!
Three of my growing-up years were spent in France with no TV. And this was way before video games or home computers, so we did a lot of hands-on activities. Jigsaw puzzles was a quiet, shared, cooperative family time that taught me some lessons about life.
Most enthusiasts have a method to their madness in assembling the replicas of masterpieces, flowery scenes, or cats playing piano. And I’ve noticed that some take these methods into life.
Edge workers: precisely select only the pieces with a straight edge that form the frame or border of the puzzle and work on only that until it’s done.
In life, people can exhibit this level of concentration on the framework of their lives. They have the politically correct job and marriage and the socially correct number of children. They drive the right car, live in the right neighborhood, and may even attend a prestigious church.
But at the center of their life, where the content, the meaning, the picture should be, there’s nothing – they haven’t gotten around to it yet. Something is definitely missing.
Theme workers: gather all the pieces of a particular color or object in the picture and work on that to the exclusion of any other pieces that may go together.
In life, some people are so focused on one thing almost to the exclusion of everything else. They may only see themselves as their job, or in a role, defined by the terms of what they do in one aspect of their life. Or perhaps everything in their life revolves around one interest: a sport, or the children, and they spend a disproportionate amount of time, money and energy in that one area. Get them off that topic, and they don’t have much to say.
That’s a person who appears extreme, off center, so narrowly focused that the pieces never come together to make a whole life.
Power workers: MAKE the pieces fit by forcing them and banging them in, regardless of whether they belong there or not.
In life, some people work so hard to accomplish something, they forget to really identify whether this is something worthwhile or important in their lives. Although they attain much, they don’t seem to see or care about what they have to do along the way. In their minds the ends justify any means.
They often end up with broken pieces, because relationships and other things in life just can’t be forced.
However you work puzzles, be sure you are putting the pieces of your life together. When you see something that fits – piece it together.
I’ve gotten so good at jigsaws that I don’t even need a picture to work from. But to put our lives together, we need to keep referencing the picture of the pattern for our lives: Jesus.
For believers, we want to look like Jesus. He is our pattern. And as we live, we want to look more and more like Him.
How do we get that picture? There were no cameras when He was around.
Read the Bible. Read what he did. What He said. How he related to people. The parables He told. The questions He asked.
Offer the pieces of your life to Jesus. He can take even the broken pieces and mend them with His love. He has the peace that you’re looking for to make sense of the puzzle of life.