My sons are really into puzzles these days. This week I got them two new puzzles, and they immediately got to work.
As I watched them implement strategy, patience, and perseverance I realized I’d never noticed how rich with life lessons putting a puzzle together can be… We can sort, categorize, and plan – only to find ourselves paralyzed, unable to decide where to actually start. We know what the picture is supposed to look like, so it’s very frustrating when all the pieces you come across don’t seem to fit together. Does this piece even belong to this puzzle?! Sometimes we feel attached to a certain part of the puzzle, and we really want to make that part of the picture come together – only to discover that the only pieces we can connect belong to another part of the picture. We find ourselves facing the decision to either be persistent or to work with what’s working. We can get all the edges together delighting in the progress we’ve made - only to feel immediately overwhelmed by the chaos of everything in the middle. the whole thing is frustrating, it’s time consuming, and so many times we consider giving up. This is just too hard. It’s quite possibly, impossible. Then all of a sudden you find another piece that connects, and it motivates you to keep going just a little bit longer… I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way about your life, but my guess is you have. The truth is, feeling puzzled about our lives is simply part of the human experience. The struggle is real. There is good news. If we can be persistent, if we can find ways to calm and motivate ourselves in the thick of the chaos and confusion, If we can have faith that things will come together, eventually they will. The look on my boys’ faces when they realize there are only a few pieces left in their puzzle is priceless. They look at me with grins of excitement and anticipation as they say, "only a few pieces left…. Only one more piece…” And then, suddenly, the puzzle is complete. The picture is clear. They struggled, they persisted, and they succeeded. With pride they put their arms in the air, and shout “I DID IT! I DID THE WHOLE PUZZLE!” I wish this for all of us. I pray that we can all face our struggles and our lack of clarity with courage and conviction. That we don’t give up when nothing seems to be coming together; that we have faith that with time and perseverance we’ll find ways to connect the pieces and create something beautiful. I pray that we reach a point where we can look at the struggle we once faced with near defeat, and proudly proclaim to the world, “I DID IT! I DID THE WHOLE PUZZLE!”
Wishing you a wonderful week. With love and gratitude, Robin