Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I'm dividing you into two teams. One team gets a baggie containing all the jigsaw pieces for a puzzle. The other team receives an equal number of pieces for a different puzzle in the box it came in.

Go! Which team can put their puzzle together quicker? Obviously the team who has the picture of what they're creating has the advantage, and probably wins, but not always.

Now the teams exchange puzzles. The team who had to piece it together last time without the whole overview has developed experience in working together. Their unity, coupled with the new perspective of the box cover, gives them the victory every time.

This is an activity I've used when teaching teenagers. The point is that it's easier to put our life together if we have a vision of what we want it to look like. If we're grabbing random pieces of the puzzle and trying to force them to fit, it won't go as smoothly, and we won't recognize when it's finally coming together. If a group (such as a family, or a couple,) has learned to work as a team, the picture becomes clearer as they all contribute. I think it is a true concept, but it's too simplistic for adults in the depths of life.

I read an article that gave credit for this piece of wisdom:

"Our time on Earth is an irreplaceable gift, one to be treasured and relished every moment; life is a fragile gift that is delivered to us in pieces, and it only achieves meaning as we cherish and blend the pieces--even the seemingly insignificant pieces--into a full, universal whole."

This made me think. Much of the time we can't see the whole picture. We didn't come with a box. And we're all so busy piecing our individual lives together, we often find ourselves working without the team. Nobody sees our particular dilemma. The piece we're trying to fit into our life at the moment might not seem to be part of the same puzzle!

I know it's key to recognize who is delivering us the pieces, and trust Him that they aren't random. Sometimes just setting them aside while we work another section will give us ideas about how they'll fit in. Arbitrarily deciding we don't need a particularly tricky piece might leave us with a hole in a critical spot. As more pieces are delivered and we gain better perspective on how it could look when we're finished, we might discover that this piece is the centerpiece of the whole design.

Just trying to piece it all together.


Christie said...

You really ought to write a book about all your object lessons and lesson helps. I love your ideas and always find a way to incorporate them when I teach!

kelly said...

what a great idea. i'll have to save that one up. i'm always looking for new and fun ideas to catch people's attention!

Heidi said...

Great wisdom, Oma. Keep your great lessons coming.

kenju said...

I LOVE that quote! So true.

mama jo said...

that was fantastic...i'm glad you wrote that and i think i'll send it to all of my is so true...and right now, i'm trying some new pieces in my it has given me much insight...

Wendi said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a great PIECE!! There is so much to think about.

Sometimes life is a hard puzzle and sometimes the pieces come together more easily then others.

"That's life."

Granny Annie said...

What a great message! I shall forward this to my children and other family members. Right now is a difficult struggle for me since my mom's death in July. It seems my puzzle pieces are all sitting in a pile. My mother loved jigsaw puzzles and I think she would whip me if she knew I had stopped working toward a finished project. The final picture of her completed life was truly a masterpiece. Thank you for this push to get me going.