Puzzling Identity

Have you ever thought about what makes a puzzle so unique?  So attractive?  I mean, after all it’s just one big picture essentially, and we have seen THOUSANDS of those… why are puzzles so spectacular?

I believe it’s because puzzles are so very… human.  They represent us rather blatantly as a matter of fact.

It’s a box of scrambled, disjointed pieces that look like they have nothing to do with one another… Hard to tell that it’ll ever match the image on the box.

When we are born- our thoughts, potential, destiny, aspirations, etc, are all scrambled.  Nothing is set in stone, or comes ready made.  Even if we decide to be something – author, firefighter, lawyer – the view of where we are in contrast to the “image on the box” look nothing alike.  Hard to tell in fact that you- struggled through high school, don’t really like college, parents didn’t graduate you – could ever be the doctor you envisioned yourself to be.  Or even the opposite.  That you – the odd, free spirited, experimental, curious you – that is born and bred of parents with multiple degrees could ever achieve success in life without one.  Could ever be a missionary, or something.

Sometimes we even become convinced of our own ability to self-generate purpose, or to create an image different from the pieces from which we were fashioned that we try to deny God, and put our own self together.

… The funny thing about puzzles is that- it can’t assemble itself.  Only the mind and hands who know how to connect the pieces together properly can do that.  Puzzle assembly requires puzzle architects.

Person assembly requires person architect.  Of which there is only one.  God.  He is the one who created all of the different pieces that make us who we are, packaged it in a box called humanity/flesh, and sent it to the world.  Therefore only He can assemble us properly…… Why are we looking to others to assemble our identity, or show us the picture of our identity when they themselves are in need of assembly??  Puzzles don’t do puzzles!!  We can encourage one another to stick out the building process, and give tips on how to recognize which hands we are surrendering to- but we can’t put anybody together ourself.  We simply don’t have the power.

No puzzle on earth has the ability to define itself.  It is what the manufacturer made it to be.

And oddly enough, when people come to your house and marvel at the completed puzzle, it is because the identity of the puzzle has been clearly shown.  The finished product matches the image on the box.  It’s inspiring.  Why?  Because a simple truth is communicated….

A puzzle is greater than it’s individual pieces.

We as humans tend to isolate pieces of our lives (and others’ lives) and draw snapshots of who they are based on that alone.  Good or bad.  Of course the benefit of a good snapshot is that it encourages the person, but that philosophy is still shot through with flaws.  In a world bent on speeding up, we need to slow down.  Talk to people.  Have conversations where the pieces of their lives are placed before us.  Then you don’t have to make a snapshot judgement on them- you can just look at their life.  Look at their emotional/spiritual health.  See how they are pieced together.  This then builds community because we become less focused on momentary flashes of positivity/negativity and more focused on what the full image of a particular person is supposed to be… what the full image of a PEOPLE is supposed to be.

And none of it has to do with us.

As a puzzle progresses, and the image emerges- you can recognize that it is emerging because it resembles some part of the perfect image on the box.

As we as people progress and observe others progressing, we can easily recognize when the true identity is emerging because in some way, shape, or form it begins to resemble that of The Perfect Image…


Don’t fight His shaping hand- learn it.

Embrace every single piece of your life, in the confidence that it is just that- a single piece.  And that there is a greater image being wrought… You are more than the sum of your pieces.

… Then of course, there are some pieces that are SO close in shape to the piece that TRULY fits that you can just jam it in there, and it will appear as if it belongs…

But hey that’s for another day 😉


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