We bought one of those 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles a couple of months ago. I love them but hadn't owned one in a very long time. I know myself. Instead of slowly putting the pieces together over time, I become obsessed. Once that border is pieced together, I'm on a mission to Get. It. Done.
Jigsaw puzzles fit nicely as metaphors for the Christian life. I think about how all those scattered pieces have no form or meaning, but once they are put together a beautiful picture emerges - much the way the Lord takes the pieces of our lives and makes something wonderful of them. We can't imagine at the time how all of the varied circumstances, both good and difficult, could possibly amount to anything until we one day will see them from the Father's vantage point and they have come together perfectly.
As I worked this puzzle with my husband, that isn't the metaphor that came to mind. Once we got the majority of the puzzle put together it became a matter of finding that one specific piece that would complete a portion of the picture. I would carefully match the colors and hunt for just the right shape until I was sure I had the right one in my hand - only to find it didn't fit. No matter which way I turned it or how hard I pressed, it wouldn't go into the space. Even when we were down to less than a dozen frustrating little pieces it didn't get any easier. I found myself saying over and over again, "Where in the world does this piece go, and where is the one we need?"
I'm writing at Laced With Grace today. Come on over and let's talk puzzles.