Thursday, 27 November 2008

Too many pieces.

I drove home from work today slowly, not because slowly is my normal driving style (it's not), but because I'd gone the scenic route (though it was dark) to avoid a traffic jam. Unfortunately I was not the only person who had thought of this cunning plan. As I was driving slowly along, in the dark, I was reflecting about all the stuff I had to do. This didn't improve my frame of mind. I was factoring in the visitors tomorrow, the preaching on Sunday, the fact I haven't seen my very ill mother-in-law for ages, but mainly the fact I haven't really thought about Christmas yet. I don't mean I haven't thought about the true meaning of Christmas (although I haven't much, recently); I mean I haven't got my to-do list for the practial stuff either workwise or domestically.

The image came into my head of a jigsaw with too many bits. I feel like there are too many bits in my life just now and my brain can't hold them all. ("The ship can't take it, captain", as Scottie on Star Trek was wont to say, but that's changing the analogy).

This week, Penultimate Child managed to complete her first 300-piece jigsaw without help. I helped her do it on Saturday and on Sunday she did it herself. It seems only yesterday she was at the stage of the big wooden 5-piece jigsaws with little plastic handles to hold each piece. It's great to see how her capability has increased. What I wouldn't do now, though, is put a 1000-piece jigsaw in front of her just now. That would put her off, and make her feel inadequate.

Am I the only one who feels like there's a 1000-piece jigsaw to be done but we only have the capacity for a 25-piece one?

I'm reminded of Noddy's wonderful statement on his sidebar: "God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die"!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not sad about my too-many-pieces problem. The truth is I love all the pieces. I love all the people in my life. I love my job. The things I have to do are not bad things (apart from the housework). I don't want them taken away. I could do with at least double my not-very-impressive energy levels mind you, but this is the point:

Please God would you help me with this jigsaw? I can't do it on my own.


MistiPearl said...

Oh are so not alone! Sometimes I think I am missing pieces of the puzzle, in fact, I know I am! One piece at a time though, right?!
Smiles and Blessings to you!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Great analogy. I'm feeling it with you. The last couple of days, I feel that I opened up a 500-piece puzzle box and discovered that it's really a 1,000 piece puzzle instead, and I can't take it back because I already opened the box.

Good idea to ask for help. I think I'll try it. :)

Mr. Nighttime said...

My problem is that just when I think I have the last few pieces figured out, something (or someone) comes along and spills the pieces all over the floor and I have to start from scratch again.

I feel a bit like Sisyphus, at times.

McNoddy said...

Just like a puzzle, do the easy bits round the edge and the other bits will fall nicely in place.

Sage said...

I have all the pieces, though not necessarily in the right order.. or even from the same puzzle I think ... I definitely need a helping hand sometimes (or even right now) :-)

Anonymous said...

Don't give it another thought, A-D. Just add it to MacNoddy's list!

McNoddy said...

Looks like File 13 is now a cabinet!

.The Cellarer said...

As someone teaching, lay chaplain, working on new school, three kids under 5 I know where you are coming from!

Everyone in today's world seems to be so busy, though interestingly Abbott Christopher Jamieson in his book Finding Sanctuary advises he tends to start retreats by inviting retreatants to ask themselves why they have allowed themselves to get so busy...

It reminds me of when I was meeting a Jesuit priest in Dublin for some spiritual direction. I went in to our second meeting and started to launch into what I wanted to say. He stopped me quite curtly and said "First we must stop and pray so we can hear what God wants to say to us and we can say what we need to him".

I think if you are very busy the trick is to keep God and prayer in your life. If you don't, then the problems start...

McNoddy said...

A Christmas Story for people having a bad day:

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that uplifting thought, Noddy. :)

Thanks all of you. Cellarer, you're right. I'm reminded that there's a book "Too busy not to pray" which I've always been to busy to read... (But I think the basic plot's summarised in the title and it's a good reminder.)

The W.O.W. factor! said...

Funny thing about puzzles, AD, we each have one. Different pictures or patterns; different number of pieces of different shapes and sizes...but EVERY puzzle has a solid border! Find that one 'strong piece', set it in place and the rest will come perfectly together with ease.