March 2, 2009


I'm fond of jigsaw puzzles, but once I start, it's hard for me to quit until I'm finished. I don't have time for that kind of thing nowadays, but I have discovered a differnt kind of jigsaw work that God is completing in me. He's started, and it doesn't look like he's going to quit until the thing is finished.

I thought I "got" my life. I really did. I've always thought of myself as introspective, enlightened, self-aware. "The unexamined life is not worth living." And all that.

Lately I've been in for a dose or two, or ten, of truth, and it's brought some unexpected realizations. My life is not what I thought it was. I've got all these pieces, see? I had put them all together and they made a picture that I recognized as "me." But I've been noticing lately that some of them don't really fit where I've put them. The colors don't really match. The little bumps don't exactly fit into the little openings.

As I've stepped back, God has stepped in. He didn't just remove a couple of errant pieces either. He's disassembled the whole darned thing. Maybe he left the frame, you know, those edge and corner pieces that you do first, because they're easy to figure out. The rest, the whole middle, undone.

These pieces -- I recognize them individually, remember how I fit them together before -- are scattered about in front of me. God is taking them up, one by one, and putting them back together. The picture looks surprisingly different. That wasn't a snake at all! It's part of the sturdy trunk of the tree. This isn't a garbage heap! It's a garden.

The life I thought I knew? All the same pieces are there, but the image looks different now. It's still looks like me, more like me than ever, really. And the image looks more like God too.

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