I love doing puzzles. It was a hobby that turned into a passion there for a while. I was fascinated by dragons in high school, so most of the puzzles I did had dragons somewhere within the photo. I had one where a wizard had just defeated a dragon and smoke was coming up off the dragon’s head. I had one where the dragon was breathing fire on this warrior and the only thing that protected the warrior from the flames was his shield. That one was my favorite.
After completing most of my puzzles I would glue them together and frame them. Sadly, my favorite one was stolen while living in Shreveport along with my a few parts of my stereo and some other items. I still have the other one with the smoke coming off the dragon’s head though. It is in storage at moment.
I remember just sitting there for hours trying to figure out where the pieces fit. I always started by finding the corner pieces first and then the outer edges. Then I would kind of sort out the rest of the pieces by color. I never looked at what the puzzle would look like finished after I opened it. The top of the box would always go in the closet and the bottom would hold all the pieces until I was ready to try the next color.
My puzzles always had to be over 1000 pieces or they would bore me. If I ever found one that had 20,000 pieces I probably would try to put it together. I still work on puzzles to this day just not the ones I want to do. Sadly, at moment the kids have a tendency to lose pieces so we stick to the ones under 100 pieces. I do not get bored while I am helping them put theirs together. They make it fun because of their excitement.
I never got mad while working puzzle unless a piece was missing from the box after spending all that time on it. Definitely aggravating! The only one I am getting upset with now is the one I am always working on…mine.
It is the biggest puzzle I have ever been involved in. It is a daily adventure. It is also one I can not do by myself no matter how hard I try. The title of the puzzle is…Stu’s life.
In this puzzle, if I had only one piece for each day up to the age of 70 there would be 25,550 pieces. But that is not the case with this one. There are more pieces than I can count. Each choice I make is a piece of the puzzle. So if I only made 100 choices a day until the age of 70 I would have 2,555,000 pieces to my puzzle. But I make more choices than that a day. Like when to wake up, how much coffee, what to eat, what to wear, how to ask a question, how to respond to one, should I look at this, should I have that drink, etc. It’s just so overwhelming at times.
I can’t see all the pieces. I can’t just flip over a piece, look at it and say that goes here and then glue it to the one I just fit. I can make one fit where it does not go. But then the rest will not fit the way it was designed to. And yet, that is how most of them are placed down. Some of them were forced by others.
I remember growing up and telling Mrs.Day, my English teacher in high school, that I wanted to be a good husband and father when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wasn’t prepared for that piece to be laid down properly when God brought a beautiful, caring and wonderful woman into my life. I did not do too good of a job at the husband part because the pieces that I had laid down prior had some rough edges and I did not have the right glue holding them together.
But there we were. Two people grafted together trying to allow our puzzles to meet with rough and broken pieces. A task not easily done. Working on rough and broken pieces is a part of life, yet it is also one that most do not want to do. Mainly because they will have to relive those moments in life in order to smooth out the edges. And sometimes, though spouses may be the best of friends, they still have the fear of being vulnerable and misunderstood.
Though my wife knew of my molestation and porn usage prior to our engagement I never really opened up to her. She knew of my drinking and my fears of failing as a husband and father because of not really having a Godly role model. I, honestly, never really talked about how those pieces of my puzzle effected everything else. When you have a fear of failure you tread lightly. I should not have done that.
I never truly shared with her the reason I avoided confrontations either. I am by no means a weak man but after witnessing certain people in my life I just could not do it. I never asked her for help in dealing with areas of my life and that, my friends, was a detrimental choice I made. She was my chosen..my helpmate and I didn’t ask for help. Had I done that and allowed her to help with the pieces of my puzzle and I helped her with hers more, then maybe ours could have stayed glued together properly.
All I know is without her pieces interlocking mine, my puzzle feels…well…shaky and incomplete.
But it took those pieces not fitting properly for me to come to the realization that this one has a totally different set of guidelines/rules. Ones I did not take full advantage of growing up. And sometimes I still don’t. Here they are:
5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding
6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
And by having another piece missing…entitled job I feel lost more than ever. I so which I could see the next piece. Heck I wish I could see the whole puzzle but I can’t. Only the Creator has access to it and He is not sharing the view…yet.
One day I will be able to see the finished work. It will be glued together and may not look too pretty from my standpoint. But it is not about my standpoint at all. Never has been. I’ve realized that now.
Everyone’s puzzle is dual-sided…what we see and what God sees. I know that once I get to Heaven I will stand beside Him and start asking questions. God, why didn’t that piece fit or why was that one placed there instead of there.
Then my Father will look down at me with a smile on His face and flip my puzzle over to reveal His side. Everything will make sense…then. I’ll probably just start crying as I look at the masterpiece He put together and He will wipe away those tears and say well done good and faithful servant.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
And I will turn around with a smile on my face as I walk down the streets of gold.
P.S. Remember the guidelines.