On my bookcase I have a single puzzle piece, a yellow #2 pencil, and a relay baton. They all have a specific purpose for being there and I look at them often and think of that purpose. Today, I also noticed a book that I’ve had on my bookshelf wherever we’ve moved: from IL, to OH, to TX, to NC. It’s a book a friend gave me well over twenty years ago.
When the book caught my attention, I thought of my friend. I haven’t seen him or talked with him in oh so many years, so I thought I’d do a quick Google search and see if he shows up on the internet radar. Sure enough, first hit, there’s his picture and his Linked-In profile. It wasn’t long and I was hitting the “connect” button then typing him a quick note. What fun it was to reconnect with him.
The book he gave me, Lord of the Impossible, and that little quick-connect made me think of how easy it can be to lose touch with good friends—even family—and how impossible it is for God to lose touch with us. That truth is not unassociated with the other items on my bookshelf.
The puzzle piece is there to remind me that I am just one piece of God’s grand puzzle. My piece only makes sense when connected with other pieces. My picture is always incomplete without those who form that beautiful tapestry of the full body of Christ on the cover of the box. By itself, by myself, there is no significant substance to a faith that is to be known by its love for one another. This is a hard puzzle to piece together and I don’t always get it right.
The pencil. Well that’s there to help me write my life’s story. That could indeed be a story written to share across the channels of bookdom, but more importantly I am to write my story in such a way that God is glorified and honored. I don’t always get that right. In fact, the eraser on the pencil of my life seems to get used more than the working end of the pencil. But the pencil reminds me that my story is important—eternally important. So I take comfort in knowing that the pages of my past and those yet to be written all work together to tell the truth of my life. Like the puzzle piece, I don’t always get the story down exactly as it should be or could be, but that doesn’t diminish the need to keep writing.
Then there’s the baton. I received that in a leadership training session that I’m currently attending. The point of the baton is just like its purpose in a relay race—it is to be passed on to the next person. Without investing myself in others, the heritage dies. That doesn’t mean that it lives and dies with me per se. It simply means in the grand scheme of things we are to pass it on—to make disciples. This is a hard task. It requires investment of time and energy. It necessitates the willingness to sacrifice so that others might flourish. And yes, you guessed it, I don’t always get that right either.
It’s obvious I don’t get a lot of things right. But keeping an understanding that our God is Lord of the impossible helps me understand that it’s not all up to me. HE is the Lord of the impossible. He is the creator and sustainer of all life. Nothing is totally dependent on me, but I have a part nevertheless. My challenge is to live that part faithfully and with deliberate intention.