The puzzle pictured above consists of a double layered wooden base which has animal shapes cut out of the top layer. One quarter inch wooden pieces, carved to fit the cutouts, form the puzzle part of the toy. To complete the puzzle, a toddler must choose the matching piece for each hole, and then successfully align it to fit the void.
Our 2-year-old granddaughter likes to complete the puzzle. She has no problem choosing the correct pieces. However, she does sometimes have difficulty aligning the pieces so that they fit the holes. She will slide the pieces on the surface of the base, turning them several different ways. The more difficulty she experiences in getting the pieces to fit, the less patience she has. When this occurs, she will press more firmly and more firmly upon the uncooperating piece, trying to force it into the opening. Her pressured efforts make the task far more difficult. Eventually, she will throw her hands up in frustration and quit.
Spiritually, we may look at life and christianity as being like this puzzle. Life forms the base. Our faith forms the pieces. When we feel a void in our lives, we try to choose the correct piece of our faith to fill that emptiness. We then try to manipulate the piece until it properly fits our lives. Often, this proves difficult. So, we press more firmly upon the selected piece of faith, trying to position it to fill the void. The more difficulty we experience, the more firmly we press, all the while trying to force our faith into our lives.
Frustration and failure often result. Since the task appears so difficult, and the results seem so disappointing, many throw up their hands and quit.
In order to overcome this problem, we need to realize that placing our faith into our lives is not intended to be like a puzzle. Jesus never taught us to try to fit bits and pieces of him into our lives whenever and wherever we feel a void. He taught that serving him is to form the entirety of our lives. If we are going to faithfully be Christ’s disciples, we must be able to grasp this concept and successfully incorporate it into our philosophy. We must intermingle our lives and our faith until they are one; until they are so completely combined that we cannot experience one without the other.
Then and only then, will be able to say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) ESV
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