Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday in Focus ~ Life is Like a Box of Puzzle Pieces

by, Alycia W. Morales

Every year, as Christmas and the New Year roll around, I find myself longing to put together a puzzle. Or two. Or three. It was no different this year, and my husband was kind enough to bless me with two puzzles for Christmas.

I love 1,000-piece puzzles. I love the challenge of more pieces. Smaller pieces. And I love the amount of time it takes me to complete one. It's as if the gratification of finishing is greater.

Isn't that the way it is when God decides it's time to work on us again? When little by little, piece by piece, His master hand puts us together... When we're going through an assembling or reassembling and we're anticipating the final product... If we're patient enough to endure the process, what we experience in the completion is so very much worth the wait.

The first thing I have to do when putting together a puzzle is to find the border and assemble it. I can't start the puzzle from the middle and work my way out. I have no design to go by. No idea where to begin. No starting point. Sure, I have the design on the box, but I don't have any idea how to bring it together without the border.

When life brings its own puzzles, it's always good to start out with a boundary. When we know ourselves and what we can and cannot handle, it's okay to tell someone involved that you can only start to solve the puzzle if you can set up a boundary that will protect you and give you a clearer picture of what needs to happen inside that frame.

The next thing I do is look for like pieces in one area of the puzzle that is going to be the easiest to solve. I love Thomas Kinkade puzzles. One thing I've noticed about his artwork is that there tend to be people or animals or a bridge or some distinct item in the picture. That's where I start.

Once I've done the obvious, I can then focus on the things that aren't so obvious.

Maybe the next part is a house. Or a flowerbed. Or a mountain. Or a tree. It's still obvious, but it takes a little longer to put the pieces together. I have to focus on the substance that makes up that part of the picture. A paint line here. A brush stroke there. A smudge somewhere else. These parts need closer focus.

And then, there are the parts that I have to put my full effort and concentration into. These are the biggest challenges. The sky. The grass. The snow. These are the things that fill out the picture and bring it to the border until it is complete. These are also the pieces that aren't so easy to decipher. They're very similar in color, if not the same. They tend to look alike.

In order to complete the puzzle, I have to put the pieces in the correct positions. I have to look for the perfect fit. I have to fail again and again until I succeed.

And only when I'm really close to the end of the puzzle ... only when I have ten pieces of a thousand left to fill in ... do I finally see the end result. Only then does it all make sense. Only then is it quick and easy to finish. Only then am I able to complete what I began all those hours before.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ...  
{Philippians 1:3-6}

How Life is Like a Box of Puzzle Pieces via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

In order to complete a puzzle, we have to fail until we succeed. Life is like that. {Click to Tweet}

1 comment:

  1. I can't even count the number of times I've pushed on a piece trying to fit it into a space I'm sure it should go. i do that in my life, too, and God gently moves it to where it belongs. He always creates a much more beautiful picture than I can. Love it, Alycia!


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