Welcome to the kitchen table…I’ve poured a cup of coffee and am just thinking back over Christmas and all we did and all that we enjoyed. One thing that stands out in my mind is that the kitchen table was actually overtaken at Christmastime this year…with a puzzle. My mom loves puzzles and so I always set one up for her to be able to work at through the Christmas week. In the past, and still, the puzzle table is one I’ve personally shied away from because I don’t like puzzles; I like the dessert table! You have to sit still for too long at the puzzle table and my frustration would surely overtake me if I were to get to the end of the puzzle ordeal and ﬁnd that one piece was missing. My family members though, enjoy it for some reason, and so I always make sure that there’s a nice Christmas puzzle set out in a convenient place; close to the rest of the family – and snacks. One of my cousins actually has a monthly subscription to receive a new and challenging puzzle to work on. Whew! My mom isn’t currently that devoted to puzzles, but she can sit for quite a while and think about which same-color piece might ﬁt rightly with another same-color piece which ﬁts perfectly into a sea of same-color pieces.
Her patience became a testimony to me as I watched her this Christmas. Head down, brain on high speed, with an unwavering focus at the jumble of colored cardboard pieces which lay beneath her. Yet, she remained aware of all that was going on around her. When one of my grandkids (her great-grandkids) dropped the mixing spoon from a batch of cookie dough onto the kitchen ﬂoor – a room away - she raised her voice – but not her head – to say “…Get that off the ﬂoor before the dog does…”. When one of my older boys came in from a late shift at work, she broke the silence of the night – but not her gaze – to say “Hey! Wanna help me with this?” And when my husband called her for dinner, she changed her geography, but not her determination.
I thought, How like God she is acting. She stayed singularly focused on that puzzle, but no soul was ever neglected, no duties were ever forgotten and no family gathering was ever forsaken. God demands this very thing from each of us. In Joshua 1:8, he says “Meditate on my Word day and night, so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success.”
Now I don’t think every scenario I size up in life is really an adequate analogy to all things Godly, but watching my mom this Christmas made me think about the goodness that comes from being skilled and balanced and focused. In the new year, I will strive to be more that way. I’ll choose a goal (for this analogy, I mean the puzzle, Habakkuk 2:2) and I’ll work diligently at it (will keep my head down, Proverbs
4:25) and I’ll stay aware of what’s going on around me (I’ll seek to never fail to meet another person’s need when I’m able, Philippians 2:4), I won’t miss family gatherings (I’ll go where I’m supposed to when I’m supposed to, I Timothy 5:8) and I’ll delegate where I should – and can (I’ll yell at people from the other room to do something I need done – just kidding – I’ll delegate tasks in order to follow God’s lead, Genesis 2:19). I hope you’ll decide on the same, or similar goal that is fully attainable with God’s help.
Enjoy your day today. Life is a puzzle, but remember that ultimately, every piece has its reason for being on your kitchen table.
See you soon!