I love puzzles. I like the challenge of a large puzzle with some interesting feature that makes it difficult: odd-shaped pieces, double-sided, an unknown image or a collage of similar objects. My favourite images are landscapes, real ones rather than the artwork ones. As I was spending a few minutes working on this puzzle today, some thoughts came to mind.
This puzzle has odd-shaped pieces. As far as the image goes, it really isn’t the sort of picture that would present much challenge as a puzzle; however, the strange shapes twists the simplicity of the image into something slightly more complex. I can gather a handful of pieces, knowing that they are all parts of the palm trees, and yet, for a time, I cannot make sense of the pieces in my grasp. This may not seem overly profound, but I do a lot of puzzles and I can usually pick up a piece and quickly place it in the appropriate spot based on its little sliver of image. My experience with puzzles has trained my eyes to see the bigger picture in small pieces. However, this puzzle of odd-shapes cannot work this way. While I can know that this particular piece is a part of a tree, the irregularities of the shape prevent me from seeing this piece’s place in the bigger picture. Clarity only comes as I slowly put together the oddities.
And it struck me today how much this is like life. Oh sure, we all know that there is a bigger picture to life and we often are unable to see it at any particular time, but I wonder if sometimes our experience is a little bit more than that. Perhaps, for a season, we can see the big picture, or at least enough of it to point us in the right direction, but life can still present a puzzle with odd-shaped pieces that do not make sense out of context. We might have all the pieces spread before us, but we just can’t see how they fit together until we go through the process of twisting and turning each one, trying this piece there, failing and trying again. Gradually we begin placing pieces in their proper order, and then we have that “a-ha!” moment as we finally make sense of what was right before our eyes. Life is like that sometimes, don’t you think?