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The Rut Less Traveled - The puzzle of life

Article Date: 
24 August, 2012 (All day)

Have you ever imagined your life as a puzzle?  Ever wish you could go back to the days of those cute cardboard puzzles where the shapes and colors were easier to find and put together?  Nowadays it seems the pieces are too small and there are too many of them!  How are you supposed to find the time and patience to put them all together?  Some days you may find only one piece and some days you look at the pile of pieces and keep on walking to some other less daunting distraction.  Yet, there are some days where you find several pieces that renew your energy and excitement for life.  Those are amazing days!  There are also days when you realize a piece is in the wrong place.  While it seemed to fit at the time, you realize now that there is a better place to put it, or that it doesn’t belong anymore.  And I’m sure you’ve felt at times like the winds of doubt and discouragement have blown your pieces all over the floor.
When those days of doubt and discouragement come I’m sure you’ve wondered if anything or anyone could help put the jig back in your jigsaw.  Nevertheless, even though life is full of puzzling perils and never as easy as matching pieces to a picture, if you’ll remember to look at the bigger picture and believe in the beauty all those seemingly insignificant pieces can create together, you will see that you don’t have to have every piece perfectly in place before you can experience peace while you’re putting the puzzle of your life together.  The important thing is that you enjoy living life while you’re searching for those perfect pieces; those shapes and colors that will create the masterpiece of living art in your heart and life.
So, what is keeping you from seeing the bigger picture and putting your puzzle together?  Did you forget where you put the box?  Did you throw it away accidentally, or bury it beneath all the busyness?  Maybe the picture has faded, or perhaps you are focusing on someone else’s picture instead of the one on your own box?  Maybe you can’t tell the difference between the right and wrong pieces?  With all the wrong pieces out there what are the right pieces that will help you stay focused on what is real and what is really important?  Where do you even begin?  Like any new puzzle, one usually begins by finding the corners or the border pieces.  In other words, start with what you know.  Eventually you’ll begin to see the beautiful patterns created from the pieces you already had, but weren’t sure where to put them.  You will learn where to put them through the trial and error of experience.  You may have to try several different pieces in the same spot before you find one that fits just right, but in the process you’ll learn to trust yourself and your pieces and that eventually you will find the right pieces and be able to connect them correctly.  
As one more piece of advice; know that you’re not alone in your puzzling predicaments.  We all get frustrated with finding the right pieces and their places in our lives.  Be careful not to get stuck in the rut of only seeing the missing pieces.  Don’t become too focused and frustrated on those pieces you haven’t found, or the ones that aren’t fitting where you think they should because this leads to being critical and cruel to yourself and to others for their missing or misplaced pieces.  You can even become blind to your own beauty and believe that your picture isn’t as beautiful or amazing as someone else’s, or wonder how so and so can ever be as attractive and successful as you are with your perfectly placed pieces and their mismatched, mangled pieces.  Don’t we all have such imperfect pieces?  Life is puzzling enough without persecuting each other.  Let’s focus more on finding the missing peace, than the missing pieces.  Let’s help each other find the right pieces and places and also remember that our own individual puzzles of life are all amazing and precious parts of an even bigger puzzle and an even more amazing masterpiece.