Jigsaw puzzles

One of the activities I engage in with Tofunmi, my daughter, is putting together jigsaw puzzles. Last night, we spent sometime putting together some new puzzles Ronke bought for her.

I saw Tofunmi get frustrated at times and almost give up, as though the puzzle could not be solved. Even after she had solved a particular puzzle, I would put it apart and ask her to do it again and again, she would get frustrated as though she had not just done exactly the same puzzle and as though the puzzle had no solution.

Tofunmi began to solve the puzzles better, when I succeeded in explaining to her at her level, the principles behind solving puzzles, such as looking at the picture of the finished puzzle to keep in mind what she is working towards, identifying disjointed patterns and discontinuities in disparate pieces that could form continuous patterns.

While doing the puzzles with Tofunmi, I realized that from the level of God the creator and omniscient one, the seemingly difficult challenges I face are like jigsaw puzzles. They have a solution and there are principles that would help to solve them easily. I only need to learn the principles, keeping in mind that the pieces are complete and the puzzle can be solved. I do not have to get frustrated at not being able to solve my puzzle like Tofunmi was.

If I knew the principles, I could confidently face all the puzzles that I have to solve and settle down to solve them knowing that the principles work regardless of the puzzle. I found out with Tofunmi that she happily tackles her puzzles when she thinks she knows how to solve the puzzle she’s working on. I would be happy too if I knew how to solve the real life challenges before me.

I am reminded of Jesus Christ, who once had the need to feed 5,000 men in a desert place. His disciples were clueless as to how to meet the need but according to the Bible, Jesus knew what to do. He did not even pray, he just gave thanks to God. To him, I think it was like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and he knew exactly what pieces to put together.

To those who are not functioning at his level of intelligence and awareness, it was a miracle but I do not think Jesus considered the feeding of the multitude a miracle. He knew precisely what to do, he knew precisely how it all happened and he could do it again. According to the Bible, he did feed multitudes again “miraculously”, while the disciples were again clueless.

Knowing what to do is being in the light and being clueless is being in the dark. I think that all I need to face the challenges I am confronted with is light. With adequate light, my real life jigsaw puzzles can be easily solved and I can have fun while doing it. With enough illumination, I would know what to do and would do it, again and again. It would look like a miracle to observers but not to someone who is in the light.

In John’s gospel, it is said concerning the Word of God, another name for Jesus Christ, “In him was life and the life was the light of men” and that the light is “the true light that illumines every person”.

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