• Jenny Jeffery

Thought For Today: Jigsaws

Who would have thought that hundreds, if not thousands of small irregular shaped pieces of cardboard sitting in a box, held so much potential, give so much pleasure and have so many benefits.

If you haven’t guessed I’m thinking about pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. I’m something of an addict and such puzzles have played a big part of my lockdown in the past months.

I am told there are many benefits. Doing a jigsaw puzzle can sharpen your brain and uses both of its sides – the logical left side and the creative right side as they work together to provide a vigorous mental brain work out that helps improve problem solving skills, hand and eye co-ordination, enhances self-evaluation, gives a sense of achievement and even helps to lower blood pressure!

It’s also a perfect path to mindfulness. You are “fully in the moment” – or at least I am. My attention is laser focused on one thing – where does this piece fit- where is the bit with the red stripe? Any worries just melt away. My perception of time along with my ability to think of anything else but the immediate task in hand is completely lost providing me with a well-earned break. I’m living in the moment and no external factor can distract me.

I liken it to gazing at a painting in a museum, or even a view. Looking at this beautiful image. I find myself relaxing and becoming part of the scene.

During past weeks I have visited such images as Mevagissey Harbour, with its colourful fishing boats, Tobermory on the island of Mull, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Cadgwith, Wells Cathedral, a cider farm, a farm shop, even a jumble sale and engaged with 1960’s grocery products.

Jigsaws can be a focus for more than one- for a family gathering or a shared project. Recently when in hospital for some weeks my puzzles drew staff and other patients to help find a piece or two, although I must admit I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to doing them.

I have used jigsaw to illustrate many a point in a sermon or a talk. Even at a funeral it occurs to me that each person attending comes with different sized and shaped memories of the deceased person. Together, their memories, like pieces of a puzzle they make up a bit more of the picture and it is only God who sees the whole picture.

But the real thought for today is that every piece although different is of vital importance to the whole. There are no extra pieces in the universe. We are all here because we have a place to fill.

In the same way Paul in I Corinthians Chapter 12 verse 12-27 says we are all part of the body of Christ - all different but all one in Christ.

Whoever we are may we know today that we in God’s eyes are unique, special, valued and loved and that God cares deeply for each one of us. We are all part of God’s family.

Happy puzzling!

P.S I have just discovered that astronauts have to do white jigsaws as part of their training. Well that proves that I’m not destined to become an astronaut!

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