On the first day of the year 2015, in the morning, we finished a puzzle. This was a vexing one. We’d already invested many hours consulting the map that goes with it, checking and rechecking sizes and shapes, colors and markings. “This shouldn’t be so hard!” “This piece must be lost!” “This is ridiculous!” At one point I was sure, “Do you think the manufacturers of these things (National Geographic in this case) leave out a couple pieces just to get you irritated?”

Why do ordinarily useful people get involved in such a time waster? There was something so satisfying about getting a little odd piece of colored cardboard into its perfect spot, more satisfying than on the face of it cardboard deserves. We both love to see things well completed, we both love looking into things carefully, we both love meaning that is mysterious but sure, pretty confident that the manufacturers did not give us a bum puzzle.

I started thinking about the parallels. Our journey with the Great Manufacturer is like this. He has a plan and a map that is somewhat discernible. He has pieces that are not yet in place, but so many now quickly coming into place. We are in the puzzle and working it.

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