Puzzle It Out

How have you been spending lockdown? In April the Guardian newspaper reported that: “Sales of boardgames and jigsaw puzzles soared 240% during the first official week of coronavirus lockdown in the UK as families turn to traditional pursuits to while away the hours stuck at home.” Putting a jigsaw puzzle together is a good way to improve memory and develop patience. It’s also absorbing, helping us to de-stress by forgetting, for a short time at least, those things that are on our mind.

Our lives are like pieces of a jigsaw; each one is important. Have you ever (almost) completed a puzzle only to find that there’s a piece missing? That after possibly hours of concentration, it can never be truly finished – how frustrating! You may consider your life less important than others’, but it is just as vital, because like the others, you have a place to fill. Every piece is needed, but that last piece is always the most important piece of all!

Or have you ever looked back at your life and thought, “What have I accomplished? I’ve worked hard for many years, but have nothing to show for it.” Similarly, looking at a single jigsaw piece, all you may see are splashes of colour that make no sense. But when fitted into the puzzle and connected with the neighbouring pieces, we see those splashes of colour become part of the bigger picture. We may only play a small part in this world, but as we play that part together with others, we help to bring the whole picture to life. However insignificant, the part you play is unique, and is of immense value to this world.

When doing a puzzle a friend of mine rarely looks at the picture on the box – maybe they like a challenge? But as a result they end up with odd pieces scattered around their half-finished jigsaw, which could so easily be fitted in, if only they would use the picture as a guide. Some people treat life like that. I once met a young actor, who had just been asked to play the part of Jesus on stage. He admitted that his knowledge of Jesus was very poor, yet he was determined not to read the Bible – which contains the only eye-witness accounts of Jesus’s life. So for him, an accurate portrayal would have been out of the question!

In fact if we want to live a life that works, a fulfilling life that makes room for others, a life where we play the part that we were created for, we need to look to Jesus. He is our example – He is the picture on the box. His love, His wisdom, His compassion, His strength, His power, His knowledge … is beyond that of any other human being. The peace that He gives, the mercy that He shows are qualities that He wants to develop in each one of us. It’s only as we look to Him that our lives will make sense and that we will find the place in the world that we were born to fill.

“Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NLV)

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