I came down the stairs after putting laundry away to my 4 year old greeting me at the bottom of the stairs;
"I don't want to play with that anymore Mommy."
"What?...", and then I saw it.
My 550 piece puzzle which was almost complete, strewn all over the kitchen floor.
After a gasp, I asked him why he would do that, to which he replied, "I don't like it anymore."
I put him on the stool for 4 minutes time out, and while he cried, I gathered.
I gathered the pieces among crumbs, a 1 year old crawling, and tears.
Whenever I have a spare 2 minutes as a Mother, which isn't that often, I would walk by and just put in 2 pieces. That's all I had time for. My other children sometimes helping me when they came home from school, we'd talk as we sat around the island and worked on this puzzle. Even when I was feeling tired or stressed, one more piece added was one less to place later.
This puzzle had been in the works for a week; and now it lay thrown all over my kitchen.
Tears perhaps not necessary, but it's what the puzzle had stood for...family gatherings, chats, stress release, and now it was gone...broken, in pieces.
Like my life lately.
My life feels it's in pieces, and it seems that every time I put a piece in the puzzle, an event or someone like 4 year old comes and pulls it all apart.
Broken; that's life isn't it? We try to match up colours and shapes, hoping they will fit effortlessly together in no time flat, but what we end up doing is looking at a table full of pieces that look similar, and yet, only one will fit where we want it.
And so we try to force pieces together, and force things to work, but become angry and discouraged at the futility of it all, because one day, it's broken, laying on the floor.
And really, who doesn't feel like my son? Who doesn't at some point want to say, "I don't want to play with this anymore?"
We become tired and beaten, worn and feel defeated.
Broken, and lying on the floor. Many days I relate to this puzzle.
I feel the harder I try, the more frustrated I become. The things that should fit seamlessly together, do not fit at all, and I can't see the whole picture, because all I see are these pieces lying in front of me.
When I walk close to my faith, and do the things I believe that the Lord requires of me, I wonder how it can be that all these pieces do not just fit nicely. Why do I have to search, and wonder, struggle and seek?
But that's just it isn't it? God doesn't promise an easy task. He doesn't even promise that I'll see the picture. But what he does promise is that if I finish the race that I will receive the crown of glory. Finish the race. That means I may never see the reward here and now. But I go on. So why don't I just give up? Why not just pack up the pieces back in the box, and accept the fact that I may never finish this puzzle the way it's intended to be finished?
I go on, because I know that He knows what the picture is, and that it's beautiful. All the pieces as confusing as they are to me, and mismatched as they look, do indeed, fit perfectly. And so I pick myself and these pieces off the floor and carry on, starting over again even after my 4 year old has broken it apart. For I know that the true reward is when I finish the puzzle. And what keeps me going? Well, the simple fact that I want to see the picture.
Because I know that when it actually fits all together...it will be beautiful.