I spent rather longer this afternoon (after a three hour lecture) finishing off a jigsaw puzzle in the college library. As a puzzle, it has taunted students for a while now – it has been quite a challenge. I think working through the puzzle was somehow therapeutic though… I have been thinking a lot about the nature of my own call to ministry – how do I recognise God’s leading in my life?
I thought about the challenge of finding the “right fit” for a piece. There are many places that a particular jigsaw piece could be made to fit. Sure, it might jiggle a bit, but it fits, right? There’s nothing quite like the snugness and satisfaction of the right fit. Persisting with something that doesn’t fit will only make make things more difficult as you move onto the next piece.
Finding the right fit sometimes comes as a surprise. It’s not always the piece that you thought would fit there. But as the fit happens, it is an immense “aha” moment and the picture becomes more clear.
Knowing the difference between a right fit and a wrong fit means trusting the quality of the puzzle.
Making some key finds unlocks some other pieces to be placed with confidence.
Sometime you make quick successive moves. Other times nothing seems to fit. Have patience. Keep trying and looking. If necessary, just work successively through all the options. Sometimes it’s much more about persistence than some imagination of personal brilliance.
Sometimes you encounter serious doubt that all the pieces are present. Trust the process.
Sometimes there is nobody present to cheer you on when you place your final piece. Appreciate the feeling of personal satisfaction. But not too much… many other people also did good work in getting this puzzle completed. Placing the final piece is really no more important than placing the twenty-seventh piece.