Spiritual Life Guide

PUZZLING TIMES!

In the winter when I’m somewhat trapped in the house, I allow myself to work jigsaw puzzles, an activity that I love. If you are a puzzle person, you get it without my giving reasons. If you can see no reason at all for “wasting time on puzzles,” then let me tell you just three reasons, not the ten or more I could give you, for why I love doing jigsaw puzzles.  (1) When I open the box and spread out all the individual pieces, I look at what I have, make a plan, and start, knowing that with daily perseverance the picture WILL emerge and be way better than that on the box (that’s patient persistence). (2) As I work, my mind can do anything it wants, be that zone-out the current situations, pray for others, or think though an issue that itself is puzzling (that’s allowing the Spirit to direct my thoughts). (3) Completing a puzzle gives me a feeling of accomplishment; something at first seemed almost impossible was do-able if I looked at individual pieces and noticed little differences that are needed in certain spots (quite like I Cor. 12!).   If these are such good reasons TO WORK PUZZLES, why did I say I only “allowed” myself to do them in the winter?  I’m selfish when I work puzzles. I like to be alone. I’m not doing a thing for others. No one is being visited, cooked for, shopped for. No lessons are being planned that might benefit others. Aside from reason 2 when I pray, working a puzzle seems selfish, and I never want to be selfish!

During COVID-19 days, I’ve “allowed” myself puzzle times. I’m still out with Central Cares and some other essential activities, but I’m not out doing classes and visiting grandchildren. I’m inside.  I’ve zoomed, but those who have “zoomed” with me know that “zooming” is not something I’m good at. It’s NOT the way I can do Bible classes as a host. SO PUZZLE TIME!! I really love it.  That said, one would think maybe the June spiritual guide might be references that are puzzling ones, Scripture that has puzzled theologians throughout generations. There are certainly more than thirty of those, but NO WAY!  Life these days is puzzling enough, and we are not given a box with a picture to go by to know when we’ve completed things.  We don’t need more puzzling things to contemplate! We need comfort. We need peace. We need to KNOW TRUTHS that come ONLY FROM GOD and HIS WORD.  June’s spiritual guide will bless us. Each morning (or night, if you are a night owl) read the selected Bible reference and pray some prayers of thanksgiving, for God’s last words are not judgment, punishment, exile; His last words are mercy, forgiveness, new life!   As always, Lucille puts our guide on line, but if you want a hard copy, stop by the church and pick up one from the table outside the office area. We put devotional things on that table, and we receive Central Care donations in the adjacent box.  You can even leave a card or note for our staff. NO STAMPS! SAVE MONEY!   Stay safe. You are loved by God and me, as Joy would say, “Each and everyone of you!”

Bobbie Denny, spiritual lay leader