In a high-tech, demanding stress-filled world it’s refreshing to find an activity which offers mental gymnastics, which “they” say helps ward off senility, in a stimulatingly relaxed atmosphere. One such activity would be working jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles range in size, number of pieces, which correlates to difficulty and time needed to complete the puzzle. So anyone from a novice to an experienced puzzler can enjoy this relaxing activity.

The objective of a puzzle is to fit all the pieces together, thus forming a completed picture. The puzzler selects individual pieces to determine if the sides join together. If they are a match then he locks them into place and begins looking for another adjoining piece. A skilled puzzler has learned to begin with the corners and outside edges of the puzzle, then to methodically work inward until the puzzle is completed. Upon completion some people will glue the puzzle together and place it in a frame for all to see, but most people will disassemble the puzzle and place it back into its box saving it to rework another day.

A bizarre idea about jigsaw puzzles came to me the other day while contemplating the Christian faith. What if someone took several different puzzles and piled them up on the table all at once and then began to work with the pieces, striving to finish with one completed picture? It would be a frustrating attempt which would be doomed to failure from the start. In fact we would not even consider ever attempting such an undertaking. We would be wasting our time on such an endeavor. How foolish we would be.

Yet many Christians have taken this approach to understanding the God in whom they profess to believe. As they begin their journey into doctrinal understanding they pull from a vast vault of resources. Now there is nothing wrong with looking at every resource and studying for knowledge. The problem stems from the way we go about it.

There is an affinity in modern Christianity life to thrive off of thoughts and phrases. These are quick and usually witty sayings. We find them on the radio, internet, tv, in the mail, and even from the pulpits. They come from different religious backgrounds and may reflect social and psychological principles more so than Biblical truth. But in our fast paced society we thrive on fast food, quick fixes, and shallow thoughts. We do not have the time to personally spend reading our Bibles to see what God has to say and what the Holy Spirit has to teach us as individuals. Nor do we have time to sit and mull over a statement to see if it is Biblically correct.

We end up picking up any and every doctrinal puzzle piece instead of carefully observing and selecting Scriptural pieces which in the end will all fit together into a clear picture of God and His workings.

Take the time to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Take time to listen and learn “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:25

Hugh Folds

Minister of Education and Youth

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