Puzzle

It’s amazing how much you can learn from a two year old.  This past weekend Lisa and I had the privilege of looking after our nephews while their parents were away.  We had a great time playing, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and the time flew by.  They are full of life, incredibly smart and define adorability (is that a word?)

The youngest (Ryan) is just two years old and is a little spark.  He is really into jigsaw puzzles right now and is quite good at them.  Some of them are really quite complex for a child his age.  It is quite entertaining to watch him at work.  He’ll take a piece and try it in various places, pressing it here, turning it there, setting it aside if it doesn’t quickly find a home and trying another piece.  Chatting as he goes about which animal the current piece belongs to or which body part it contains, the picture gradually takes shape.  He usually wants you to join him in the assembly, but he’s happy to carry on alone if you don’t comply.  Before too long, he has completed the picture of an elephant, or a lion, or some sort of animated scene.  And that’s when Ryan does something peculiar that makes me laugh every time.

When the last piece finds its place, and I mean at that INSTANT, he immediately demolishes the puzzle and says, “Do it again!”  Seriously, he doesn’t even sit back for one second to relish the picture that he has created.  Before I can even grab his hands to take a look for myself, he has the thing dismantled and is starting over.  He’s not the least bit concerned with the fruit of his labor.  It’s the building that he enjoys.

There’s something to be said for enjoying the process of what is going on in our lives.  I think one of the reasons we struggle with discontentment in life is that we are focusing on the end goal so intently that we miss the value of the journey.  It’s not that the goal is unimportant; if you are pursuing eternal things the goal is infinitely more valuable than unveiling a jigsaw puzzle’s rendering.  But with the Kingdom of God, it is only through the process that you are molded into what that end goal is all about.

James 1 says that the testing of our faith (the journey) develops perseverance and that perseverance will lead to maturity and ‘completion’ in our lives.  Just as the puzzle will never be completed if each piece is not placed correctly, so we will never arrive at any level of maturity or ‘completion’ if we do not walk the path between here and there.  Every step.  If you want the complete picture, you cannot skip pieces.

There are many things in my life that I wish I could rush.  Often times I would like to skip steps and just ‘get on with it’.  But I can’t.  Not if I want to be complete.  So I’m going to try and take a lesson from a toddler.  I’m going to try and engage in the process as much as I look forward to the goal.

Thanks Ryan.

 

Comments

Posted On
May 19, 2011
Posted By
Auntie Beth

So, so true! I’ve been thinking along those lines myself lately, wanting to skip all the “in between” stuff. The hazard with that though, is that you miss much of your life in the process. All of the little joys that occur in a day.

I’ve also been pondering the term “abundant life”. When I was younger, I used to think that it meant the absense of difficulties when all was smooth and peachy. This side of heaven, that doesn’t happen. Rather, I think it means to seize opportunities and to “seek first the kingdom”. The Lord is gradually adding pieces to the puzzle of what the picture of an abundant life looks like and I just pray that I will be bright enough and wise enough to apply all that He shows me.

LoveYou.

Posted On
May 19, 2011
Posted By
Esther

Thanks, bro. Brought tears to my eyes this morning — I’m so much a bottom-line, get-to-the-point, what’s-next girl, that I miss the moments and the point of the steps in the journey. Today I’m going to remember “If you want the complete picture, you cannot skip pieces.”

Posted On
May 24, 2011
Posted By
Joey

Hey Tim,
Keep it up, this was a good mindset refresher. This is one Im probably going to read over and over again. Thanks Tim, thanks Ryan. – Joey

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