I’m glad that the expected snow did not materialize here in Fort Collins. That certainly helps Debbie in her work as she visits patients. Yesterday she needed to make an unexpected trip to Denver to get supplies for a patient.
It seems like I have been experiencing a higher level of fatigue than I had in recent weeks. This is probably more normal and the level of energy I was enjoying was more the exception. It is good that a short 30 minute nap can get me re-energized.
I finally finished the final Christmas puzzle today! The holiday’s are officially over. I’m glad that I did it the week of President’s Day and before Easter. My daughter-in-law Bridget got it started and then abandoned me and left me to figure it out. I did work on it periodically over the weeks and not at all for a couple of weeks. However, with the challenge of the puzzle I kept thinking it might be July 4th before I finished it. This puzzle had some challenging shades and pieces that were very close to fitting a space but not quite.
I began reflecting on working the jig saw puzzle and life and came up with some analogies for life. This is kind of a Forest Gump, “life is like a box of chocolates” time of reflection.
1 – Life is a challenge and requires perseverance.
An older man had a baseball cap that said, “The problem with life is that it’s so daily.”
Another (who had an Ecclesiastes “all is vanity” perspective on life) said, “Life is hard and then you die.” The most challenging part of a puzzle is opening the box and looking at 1,000 pieces and thinking, “Where do I start?” Life certainly has its challenges and as a result requires perseverance and patience. The Apostle Paul’s desire for Christians was that they be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” (Col 1:11) When we trust in the Lord’s strength He provides not just a bubble-wrapped world, but endurance and patience to face the hardships of life.
2 – Getting some pieces to fit is a challenge
Being an admitted novice at puzzles I was surprised how hard it was to find some pieces even when the shape of the space seemed unique and obvious. Sometimes I would finally find it and at other times I had to walk away and then return. Sometimes I would be on a roll and find several pieces in a row in what I called, “a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while” moments.
As I think of this, I think of the importance of faith in God even when we feel frustrated, even when we feel stalled,even when the pieces of life just don’t seem to be coming together; I am reminded of this verse: “Now faith is the…evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
3 – Receiving help is important
As I was working on my puzzle last night and a little frustrated why I couldn’t find a particular piece, Ron Kee stopped by to drop of my wheelchair headrest that Dixie had covered for me. In about 20 seconds he found the piece I couldn’t and another one as well! Earlier in the process my sister-in-law Sue (who loaned us to the puzzle to put together) brought over some pie tins to help me sort out the pieces and get organized in my puzzle work. That really made a difference. Life, especially a life of faith is not intended to be a lone ranger endeavor. Sometimes people feel they just need to “suck it up” or there are those who say my spiritual life is just between me and Jesus, I don’t need anyone else. When Jesus called His disciples the Bible says, “..That they might be with Him and that He might send them out..” (Mark 3:13) When Jesus sent them out He did so as a group or at least two by two. The Apostle Paul talked about Christians as a body and being one of another. The “island mentality” is not found in scripture for sure.
4 – The completed project makes it worth the work
This morning as I got to the final 20 pieces of the puzzle, I could sense the anticipation growing of the finished product. (Even though Sue had given me permission to just put the puzzle back in the box) All the pieces “fell into place” they were all there and the finished puzzle even looked like the picture on the box!
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s well known words, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8)
As we experience life we can see God’s faithfulness to us through the years. When we allow Him to lead our lives He will get us where we are going. There used to be a bumper sticker that read, “God is my co-pilot” The better perspective is to let God be the driver, and to refuse to be a “backseat” driver.We may question the route our life takes, but when we trust in Him, He will get us safely to our final destination. If all there is to life, is this life then all is vanity. The hope of heaven is a “blessed assurance” that gives perspective to the challenges and trials of life.
Well…that’s all I have to say about that!
Checkout the details of Ken’s journey from sickness to health at www.caringbridge.org/visit/kensummers