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Friday, June 21, 2024
Home Leaders Community Learning from Jigsaw Puzzles

Learning from Jigsaw Puzzles

Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned From a Jigsaw Puzzle

  1. Don’t force a fit ‒ if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.
  2. When things aren’t going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.
  3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.
  4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.
  5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later (see #4).
  6. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook. Refer to the Creator’s guidebook often.
  7. Variety is the spice of life. It’s the different colors and patterns that make the puzzle interesting.
  8. Working together with friends and family makes any task fun.
  9. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.
  10. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are surprising.
  11. Take time often to celebrate your successes (even little ones).
  12. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can’t be rushed.
  13. When you finally reach the last piece, don’t be sad. Rejoice in the masterpiece you’ve made and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
(Copyright 2001, Jacquie Sewell)

There’s much good advice in there for Christian living.  Take #7, for example.  There is much variety in the Lord’s church ‒ not only variety of color, but variety of background, and variety of temperament.

Some Christians would be happy if they were locked in a room filled with books, totally isolated from society; other Christians would go crazy if they didn’t have contact with people on a regular basis.  Some Christians are fascinated by the theological arguments of the writer of Hebrews; other Christians are more moved by the depth of emotion expressed in the Psalms.  Some Christians most enjoy expressing their love through doing things to help other people; other Christians get a great deal of satisfaction by writing notes of encouragement or giving hugs.

We sometimes wish that everybody else in the church was “just like me,” but the things that make us different are actually a blessing.  In I Corinthians 12, Paul compared the church to a human body.  He wrote:

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing?  If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.  And if they were all one member, where would the body be? (1 Cor. 12:17-19)

Though it sometimes gets frustrating, be thankful for the differences between us.  We need the things which other Christians have to offer.  It is that variety which allows the church to function as a body.  Those differences make us stronger.  Thank God for the variety!

Alan Smith
Alan Smith
Alan Smith serves as the minister for the Cruciform Church of Christ (www.cruciformcoc.com) in Spring Lake, North Carolina. Alan has been preaching for 39 years and has been with the Cruciform Church of Christ since February 2016. He received a bachelor’s degree in Bible from Freed-Hardeman College in 1977, and has previously preached for congregations in Milan, TN, Bassett, VA, Roanoke Rapids, NC, Gloucester, VA, Boone, NC, White House, TN, and Fayetteville, NC. Alan has been married for 39 years to the former Sueanne Sword, and they have three children — Charity (living in TN), Amber (living in NC) and Joshua (living in KY). They are also blessed with six grandchildren. Alan started the daily e-mail devotional, “Thought For the Day” in September 1997. He enjoyed sharing humorous stories received by e-mail with his friends and members of the congregation and felt that people might enjoy reading those bits of humor with a spiritual application and challenge to Christian living, so TFTD was born. Initially sent to 25 friends, it was passed on and passed on until eventually it reached over 6,000 subscribers in all fifty states and over 90 different countries. To receive the free issues of “Thought For the Day,” send a blank email to [email protected].

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