Lately, I have been exploring new ways to relax, while at the same time keeping my brain sharp. I already find new worlds in books and enjoy reading. Flower gardening is also one of my passions. However, gardening is seasonal. It’s a bit hard to grow cone-flowers in the snowy months of the Northeast where I live. Since I can only manage to draw stick figures, my strong interest in photography feeds the visual artistic side of me.
As a Christmas gift last year, I received a 1,000-piece puzzle featuring beautiful postage stamps from all 50 states. Each one was a representation of the state itself, such as the state’s flower or bird. So, I pulled out my old card table and set the puzzle up in the waiting room where parents of my piano students hang out while the lessons are being taught.
Both Relaxing and Frustrating
During that time, I learned that while working on puzzles can take us into a rather relaxing realm, it can also be frustrating. Thankfully, those waiting parents were happy to help. Help also came from my daughter who very kindly said, “Clearly, Mom, this border piece is misplaced.” I loved that my brain was building more neurons as that was part of my goal, but I also enjoyed the camaraderie of friends and family working together. It generally proved to be quite relaxing and enjoyable.
Pleased as we were, we got to the end and guess what happened? The last piece was missing! After turning my room “upside down,” it was never found.
A Sure Destination
All this made me think that there is an absolute finality to life. God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) “…God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Eternity has already begun. We are on this eternal journey, and there is an absolute destination in mind.
No Missing Pieces with God
I do not have to wonder if, indeed, there is an ultimate piece to my life. There are no missing puzzle pieces with God. As a follower of Christ, I do not know all the missing pieces that lie ahead of me. In fact, I often do not know the next step.
Admittedly, that can cause frustration, but I am learning the truth of Psalm 37:23 (NLT) which says: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” He also provides family members and friends who are with us in our journey. This is the camaraderie of Christian fellowship: as they walk with us so that we can experience the encouragement and support we need.
I think I’ll keep doing puzzles and maybe someday I’ll find that missing puzzle piece!
Sharlene (Azzarelli) Cady is a 1969 graduate of Houghton College, having earned a bachelor’s degree in music. A member of the Rochester Piano Teacher’s Guild and a Fairport teachers group, she is a private piano teacher and serves as an accompanist for choruses as well as for her church.
Highlander Devotionals are contributed by members of the broader Houghton community, including our worldwide alumni family. These reflections are a testament to the continued, transforming work of Jesus Christ in the lives of alumni and others who have called Houghton “home.”