We opened the box and scattered the pieces all around the table. This brand new puzzle my youngest had picked out would look like, when completed, a full box of donuts. Delicious, right?
We placed the box cover strategically in front of us. We studied the picture. We figured out the various colors involved. Then we began organizing each piece.
Red pieces in a red pile for the vanilla donut with red glitter sprinkles.
Blue pieces in a blue pile for the chocolate dipped donut with blue confetti sprinkles.
Yellow pieces for the yellow donut.
Green pieces for the green donut.
Orange pieces for the orange donut.
And rainbow pieces for the rainbow donut.
Last but not least, the edge pieces.
We knew that without the edges, the frame of the puzzle could never be built. And without the frame, the colored pieces would never fit together to create the big picture.
On and on this process went until each piece had it’s place, it’s purpose and it’s pile.
And even though we didn’t know how each piece would fit together, we knew each piece was in its rightful position, and that was a good place to start.
And that’s when the moment of insight hit me.
We often rush through life trying to force the big picture of our lives to come together. So much so, we ignore God when He asks us to slow down, to take a breath, to relax and to spend time organizing our lives first before worrying about the big picture.
Or perhaps we find ourselves mad at Him because He has us working on a part of the puzzle we don’t want to be working on. We’d rather be assembling the “chocolate pile”, but He has us dealing with “vanilla.”
We have to remember that spending time in seasons of wait, rest, new beginning, reflection, or organization are the seasons that help us build the right kinds of life pictures because they are the seasons that help us strengthen our frames, our edges and our life foundations.
The family pieces go in the family pile so a beautiful family can be assembled.
The vocation pieces go in the vocation pile so effective vocations can be assembled.
The everyday-life pieces go in the everyday-life pile so great stewardship can be assembled.
Then there’s the friendship pieces, the church pieces, the community pieces, the health pieces, the financial pieces and the extended family pieces, etc.
On and on this process goes until each piece has it’s place, it’s purpose and it’s pile.
Last but not least, the faith pieces.
We know that without the right edges, the pictures we’re trying to piece together will never make sense. Without the right frame, the puzzle will be a difficult puzzle to build. And without the right foundation, the assembling process of our other piles will have nothing solid to attach themselves to.
This doesn’t mean each pile lives independent of each other. It simply means that at various points in our lives, God has us assemble the various mini pictures that make up the bigger picture. Eventually each “donut” will come together to form “the whole box of donuts.”
So maybe today you’re working on a red pile. Maybe you’re working on a blue. Maybe you’re in a fun chocolate phase — can I get an amen? — or maybe you’re begrudgingly knee deep in vanilla. Either way, find your edges. See the frame. Focus on the foundation. And remember, as long as the edges of your life are assembled correctly and solidly, you can trust that God is having you build — piece-by-piece and moment-by-moment — a beautiful life picture.