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Jigsaw lessons

From the December 23, 2013 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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I remember a time when I was given a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle showing a gorgeous scene from the Italian Alps. I love puzzles and got right to it with enthusiasm. Little did I suspect what life lessons lay in store for me as I studied and shifted and clicked those pieces into place.

I was amazed at the variation of colors, light, and shade—glorious hints of Soul’s perfection and beauty.

Often a piece would look as though it should fit in a particular place, but tiny differences made that impossible. How many times are we tempted to push, prod, or otherwise manipulate people, things, or events, only to find that this just doesn’t work. Making things perfect isn’t our job. God has already done it.

Then there were times when I’d be determined to find a particular piece, and, after much frustration, gave up. But the next day, there the piece would be—right under my nose! This always directed me toward the role of patience in our lives, and the importance of not trying willfully to accomplish things all by oneself. Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must ‘have her perfect work’ ” (p. 454).

Sometimes, a section just wouldn’t come together, so I’d work on another part of the puzzle. There are times when we try to pursue a plan of action, or a career path, or a relationship, and nothing works. But there’s a line in the movie The Sound of Music in which Maria, played by Julie Andrews, says, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” That reminds me of some lines from a hymn I love: “All good for you His wisdom planned / O trust in God and understand” (Christian Science Hymnal , No. 216, © CSBD).

Making things perfect isn't our job. God has already done it.

With all those puzzle pieces spread out on the dining-room table, I sometimes found that when an elusive piece finally showed up, it didn’t look at all the way I thought it would. Doesn’t this happen with so many of life’s blessings? Often they come in unexpected forms, which is half the fun!

Time and again it became apparent to me that every piece is essential; none more nor less important than another. If just one piece were missing, you’d have a picture with a hole in it.

Viewing a puzzle project like this through a spiritual lens, we could say that it’s designed to show the beauty and wholeness of God’s creation, where its completeness is never in doubt. As a hymn about eternal Mind as “potter” says, “Love’s work and Love must fit” (Mary Alice Dayton, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 51.) Watching the divine pattern appear is total joy. And fitting that last piece of the puzzle into place after weeks of work brings an incomparable feeling of elation and triumph.

Because Mind’s design is so wise, so flawless, and our place in it so fully guaranteed, we can be at peace, confident of its continuing, tangible appearing, wherever we are solving puzzles.

Perhaps most important: Divine Principle and its ideas know nothing of fragmentation—breaking apart, then coming together again. They are one seamless whole, expressed in beauty, symmetry, harmony, and holy purpose, with Christ Jesus as the “chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20, 21).

Margaret Zuber and her husband, Morey, live in their motor home, alternating travel with volunteering in national wildlife refuges.

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