Friday, September 27, 2013

One Piece at a Time

Life is a confusing thing. There are so many questions unanswered.
It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
Lots of pieces. Confusing pieces. Pieces that make no sense at all. Pieces that are all supposed to fit together to create something of beauty and order.
I hate jigsaw puzzles. With. A. Passion. I despise them.
I hate the absolutely helpless feeling that I get when I see that awful pile of pieces, scattered across the table, that are somehow supposed to fit together. It makes no sense to my brain.

And then I look at life and I start to feel the same way. Pieces...everywhere. Fragments that make no sense. Confusion and chaos scattered about.

I reach for the edge pieces. They are the only ones I can ever figure out. They have an edge. There is that tiny glimmer of order attached to the edge piece. One flat edge. It makes a world of difference to me. So I piece the edges together and create a boarder.

But there is still a pile of pieces. And now that pile just got fifty times worse because all the edge pieces are gone. The easy-to-figure-out problems of life are dealt with. All that's left are the deep, probing questions of life that still need to be pieced together and I stare and feel utterly helpless.

Truth is, I can only conquer one small piece at a time. Some pieces I have to pick up, look around, and place right back down. Sometimes I will just sit there, unable to find a single piece that fits, until someone else comes up, takes a piece, and places it in the spot I couldn't find.

So it is with life. One small piece at a time, life fits together. One confusing, emotional experience at a time, we see a little more of the finished product. One moment. One breath. One tear. One laugh. One stab of the heart. One bit of trust. Life is made of pieces.

Life cannot make sense one piece at a time.

But life must be lived one piece at a time.

Put the two together and I start to realize that perhaps life wasn't meant to make sense. The only thing in life that makes sense is that I am a sinner saved by grace because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. That is the only certainty I can cling to on this earth.

I know the pieces will come together. In their perfect time, each one will fall in place. Jigsaw puzzles really aren't piles of confusion and chaos. They are actually piles of order and complexity that just need to be put in place. Life makes sense to God. He already knows where each piece goes and how they all fit together. His perception of this puzzle is far different from my own because he cut all those pieces.

I see a framework forming. I've put a lot of edge pieces together over the last 19 years. The pile of pieces that are left is terrifying and brain-boggling.
So I pick up one piece.
I look it over.
I ponder.
I pray.
And I think maybe this piece needs to be put back down for a while.
There's no clear spot for it to be placed just yet.

Now which one should I pick up next?

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