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The Giant Puzzle

Sometimes our life feels like a giant puzzle where we struggle to find the pieces to make it into a complete picture. Often, we get too busy to even find the time to search for the next puzzle piece. We think if we could just finish this one project or get past this next big event, we would have more time on our hands. If we could hire a maid to fold the laundry or clean the house, get a driver to get us all the places we need to go, and so on. If we could somehow get caught up, then surely, we would be able to keep it that way. Right?

If we are honest, we have all felt this way or even voiced these thoughts out loud at times. And we want to believe those words are all real. While it is true that a little help goes a long way most days, the reality is that we sometimes allow the craziness of life to direct us. For today we are going to think of the busy things in our life as puzzle pieces. Imagine you have a puzzle to put together. Most of the time you start with the corners and work your way around the outside areas because those are easiest to place. Then you move to the inside pieces of the puzzle that are a little harder to place. You section off those pieces by matching similar colors or designs, and slowly, with lots of patience, you continue to match pieces to finish the puzzle.

I have a story for you that I hope helps you to relate to the many pieces of the puzzle of life. Once there was a mom who, like many of us, had to work. She was fortunate that her job allowed her to work from home. She had a 5 yr. old little girl that loved having her mom’s attention and having mom home was very exciting to the little girl. On one bright sunny Monday morning mom was very busy with lots of work to do. The little girl excitedly came in and ask her mom to come play with her. Mom replied with “I can’t right now I am working but, when I finish this, I will come play for a while. Now you go and watch your favorite cartoon and by the time it is over, I should be finished.” The little girl left to watch her show with excitement that she would get to play with her mom soon. The show came to an end, the little girl skipped back into the room to mom and said she was ready to play now. But mom was still busy working and needed more time. Mom smiled and explained she had a little more work, so she asks her little girl to go read a book and she should be ready to play after that. The little girl went off to her room and found her favorite book, gathered her favorite animals, and read it to them all. She then came back to mom and said, “I have read my book now and I am ready to play”, but mom still needed more time for work. Mom was at a loss as to what to do. She needed to work, but she wanted to enjoy time with her daughter too. Mom noticed a magazine on the coffee table and opened it to find a map of the United States. She removed the map from the magazine and tore it into pieces. Mom explained to her little girl that she was to go into the other room and put the puzzle together and after she had finished the puzzle, Mom would stop what she was doing and play with her. Mom just knew this would take a long while as the girl was only 5 and did not know anything about the United States map. However, it was not long at all, and the little girl had the puzzle put together. She came running back to her mom and told her she was finish. Mom was surprised and just could not believe her little girl had finished already! She asks the little girl how she got the map put together so quickly? The little girl spoke such profound words... she said “oh, I did not know how to put the map together, but I saw a picture of a woman on the other side, and once she was put together it all fell into place”.

Do not let the things you feel you need to do keep you from completing the puzzle. If you start with those outside corners and things just don’t seem to be coming together then try flipping it over. Like the little girl said, once we get ourselves together things often fall into place. So those things that seem so overwhelming can often look much easier once we see it from the other side.


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