Rain dumped down for days. It wasn’t long before I began to feel guilty that my poor grandma was basically trapped in our living room. I blamed myself for this unfortunate outcome and avoided seeing her sad face by organizing my life post-grad. I was back in my parents’ home, jobless for the time-being and quickly getting cabin-fever. This definitely did not help matters.
One rainy evening, my dad and grandma scattered 500 puzzle pieces onto the dinner table. These weren’t just any 500 pieces — they made up a mind-boggling picture of three men sitting in a snowstorm. Upon realizing that the daunting task ahead would only sink me further into my misery, I declined the offer to join and quickly ran away to better things like staring out the window.
Yet as the evening progressed, a funny thing happened. Every time I walked by the table where they were working, I stopped to study the puzzle, picked up a piece and popped it in a spot before continuing on my way.
Gradually, I started hovering over the puzzle longer with every stop. Soon, I was sitting down to put a few pieces in. By the next evening, I was completely glued to the seat. Eyes bloodshot, I was 100 percent committed to finishing the picture, even if meant skipping meals and missing a date with my fiancé.
The puzzle now owned me.
My grandma was just as consumed in the task as I. We studied the puzzle together carefully, suggesting different pieces to each other, grumbling over the impossibility of the shapes. We cheered wildly every 10 minutes or so when a piece would actually fit where we needed it to.
As the final pieces were put into place, our hearts were racing with excitement. I could not believe that something as monotonous as a puzzle could lead my spirits to such an exhilarating height. My giddiness was almost embarrassing. But I realized that this little activity of ours had somehow pulled not only my grandma and I together, but my whole family. Furthermore, it occurred to me that my grandma didn’t really care much about what we did together during her stay, it was just the fact that we were together.
As Long As We Are Together
Poring over a 500-piece puzzle had not been my original idea of “fun with grandma.” I avoided it at first because I was guilty for not finding something better to entertain us. But what if I had decided to not sit down and work on it with her? Would we ever have had some quality time together? Thankfully, I put in more of an effort to be around after that. Whatever we were doing didn’t matter, as long as we were together.
This is the way I believe it is with God. Sometimes I get so caught up thinking about how I should spend my time with him, that in turn, I miss my time with him completely. I search for ways to better myself instead of running, just as I am, into his arms. The truth is that God wants to be with us, in good times and in bad, and has no demands on how we should “entertain” his time. God just wants to be a part of our lives.
I admit, the puzzle was a little complicated. But the lesson is really quite simple.
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