A Puzzle with No Picture


Sage brought home a jigsaw puzzle in a ziploc bag. 1500 pieces. No picture. I haven’t done a puzzle in years. ¬†For some reason I was drawn to the challenge of building without a picture to follow.

It’s an effective metaphor for the major adventures in my life right now. I’m getting married, becoming a father, leading a worship ministry, building a network marketing business, contributing to a phone app team with a potential hit on our hands, and somewhere in the middle of all this, negotiating my journey as a man and a musician. Every single day now, I rely on the reminder at the top of my bathroom mirror: “I am a beloved son of the Most High.”

Uncharted territory, story of my life. I asked God to lead me where my trust is without borders, and that is exactly what He has done. I have no maps for any of these adventures. These aren’t just do or die situations — these are trust or die opportunities!

Here are 3 things I learned in the process of completing this puzzle:

1. Take Inventory. What do you have? The first thing we did was flip every piece right side up, and look for all the edges. In other words, find pieces with a common feature and create a framework from those. When you don’t have a picture of the thing you are building, start by looking at what you have to work with.

2. Pay attention to the combinations that emerge. Those combinations inform the larger picture. The first combination we found is the fish that looks like Nemo. Finding that alerted us to the idea this was an underwater scene and then we began to imagine what it might be.

3. Enjoy the process. Celebrate each new connection you find. It occurs to me that finding 1500 connections that fit, can completely change your life, but it’s not likely you’ll find them all at once. More likely is that you’ll find one or two or three at a time. Celebrate each one. ¬†Every connection expands your picture and helps you connect to the next piece you’re looking for, whether you know you’re looking for it or not.