Monday, September 21, 2009

A Puzzle in a Shoe Box

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18).

Recently while clearing out a storage bin I discovered a curious thing: a puzzle in a shoe box. I have no idea how it got there, and no recollection of ever having seen it before. And I haven’t a clue as to what the puzzle actually is.

There is no picture on the box, so we have no idea what the puzzle is supposed to look like. And since there isn't any info about the puzzle we have no assurance that all the pieces are there. In fact, there is no way of even knowing how many pieces the puzzle actually has. It’s just a puzzle in a shoe box.

And that in itself is a puzzle.

"What’s this doing here?" I asked myself, but have no answer to give.

After thinking about all this I came to a simple conclusion. There is not much you can do with a puzzle in a shoe box. You can muse over it, but that leads nowhere. You can try to assemble it, but that doesn't last long, 'cause like I said -- you don't even know what your putting together.

You can shake it like a percussion instrument along to a song on the radio – but it has to be tuned to the Spanish station. Or, you can just sit and stare at it, and be "puzzled." Other than that, there is just not much else to do with it.

And then it struck me -- that's what life is like apart from God.

There is no vision; no clear and compelling picture of what your life is to become, once it is all put together. There is no purposeful plan where all things work together for good; revealing over time the beauty of God's design in making you who you are.

There are no borders; no defining boundaries that mark the measure of your life. It is just a jumbled collection of colorful possibilities, without any pattern or sense of direction. It is, in a sobering sense, a life with no point.

Solomon said, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The word perish means "to cast off restraints." It means to live an undefined and undisciplined life; to have no boundaries, no restrictions – no purpose.

Such a person is nothing more that a puzzle in a shoe box.

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