Missing Pieces

by Ray Reuter on February 23, 2017

One of my most effective and enjoyable activities is building jigsaw puzzles. 1000 pieces are my favorite size. For me, building a jigsaw puzzle results in the displacement of all worry, anxiety, expectations, frustration and other head stuff to be able to concentrate on the puzzle (big picture) and little pieces. There’s a structure to the process of preparing and then assembling the puzzle. It is good mental therapy and relaxing.

Recently, I made a commitment to restart this practice to create an oasis of enjoyment and stress reduction. I just completed my most recent 1000-piece puzzle. It is a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Jungle Book.” This was one of the hardest puzzles I have ever done. You see, this puzzle sat out for quite a while and little grandkid hands got into it one day after I was about 20% complete. Of course, nobody did it! But in asking “who did?” … most of the responses pointed towards Thomas. [smile]

You see, very early on I noticed that a piece was missing from the puzzle — a flat piece. Oh my! This situation was highly likely the result of little Thomas hands! So I knew early on that the puzzle was not going to be “perfect.” Yet I made the conscious decision to carry on with the work anyway. I then found another piece missing as I worked on the “white” section … then another in the “brown” section. And then finally one more piece was missing — four pieces missing in total. Yet the puzzle was complete and it was still beautiful despite the four missing pieces.

In the past I would have trashed this puzzle due to the flaws, the missing pieces. I would have quit. But I choose instead to complete the work in spite of the imperfections and it was still good. Too often, I / we focus on our flaws, mistakes, weaknesses and overlook all the good. We get discouraged and want to quit and give up. We don’t look at all the positives. After all, there were 996 good pieces! Yet our humanness propels us to look at what is wrong. Case in point … I showed the puzzle to the grandkids and the first thing they tell me, “Papa, there are pieces missing!” Yes, and … look at the beauty in the rest of the puzzle. ツ

Finally, props to our Heavenly Father, who continues to love us and work with us even when we have flaws, imperfections, missing pieces. He sees the good in us always!

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