I like to do puzzles. Right now I am working on a 1000 piece puzzle, guaranteed to keep me busy for the rest of my life…unless one of my grandchildren wade in on it. But for the last year, it seems like I’ve been living a puzzle. After 12 years in the Northwest, we moved back to the St. Louis area. It’s not that my life fell apart or anything, however there are some new pieces on the table and some major pieces that are no longer in my picture. The result is that scattered, disconnect feeling you have after a move.
What do you want me to do here, Lord? Where is the niche that fits my abilities and your will for my life? These are the pieces I have been looking for that did not come in a mover’s box, new pieces that are unique to “here and now”. The fact is, as I sort through the options, I have discovered there are almost too many new pieces that pique my interest. However, do they fit?
We often talk about the need for a vision when we discuss the spiritual life, a vision for the future and for serving God. However, it is God who puts the picture together, and sometimes what he puts together comes as a complete surprise. When a change comes, we must be open to…that’s right…the change. Letting go of what we have had, or have done is part of that process because that piece no longer fits in the life God has given now.
It helps to keep an open mind after a big life change. All that has come before is the foundation for what God is doing in our lives now. One would hope that a strong foundation undergirds us, no matter what changes we go through. If we are aware of cracks or weak places in that foundation, the number one priority will be to build for new, or renewed, strength. The familiarity of our comfort zone might have allowed us to slip into laziness, or habits that erode our strength. The shake-up that comes with change can be a really good thing if we are wise enough to consider it a God-given wake-up call.
When I am doing a puzzle, I constantly refer to the picture on the box. I think that is a good idea when it feels like our lives are in pieces. For me right now, the picture to keep in mind is the life of Christ, his mission, and the spiritual gifts he has provided in order to carry out the mission. Those are the pieces that will come together to complete the life puzzle I am working on, and those will be the perfect fit.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33