As a child I enjoyed doing connect the dots pictures. Sometimes I could guess what the picture would look like before I started and other times it was a surprise.
Recently I bought a book with difficult dot to dot pictures. Most have close to five hundred dots and the lines often crisscross or head off in unusual directions. Sometimes they come back to where I thought they should be and other times surprise me with what they create.
Once in a while I haven’t been able to find the next number in sequence. I’ve learned I can start over in a new area and eventually I will find what was needed.
Even when the picture is completed, I can’t always immediately see the image I’ve created. I may have to look at it from a distance to see the big picture and not just the connecting dots.
This book reminds me of life. I don’t always move in a straightforward manner to reach my destination. I may double back or go in the opposite direction for a time. When I temporarily lose my way, I can start over from where I am. Every move I make is contributing to the overall picture of my life. Some days it is far more complicated than others.
At the end of the day I may wonder if I’ve been productive. That’s when I need to step back and look at the day from a distance. This other perspective may be just what is needed. I am able to see the big picture and know where to add colour or shading to enhance what was created.
No matter how I feel about the result, I know that tomorrow I will open the page to a new puzzle and follow the dots to see what this one has in store for me.
Sometimes we happen to find the perfect gift for a loved one. That was the case with a birthday present for our nine-year-old granddaughter.
Part of her gift was a pillow. This was not your everyday pillow but a special one, with one side in a satin fabric and the other covered with sequins. I knew it would be a hit because what little girl doesn’t like sequins?
It got even better, though as these adornments were purple on one side and silver on the other. The colour changed depending on the direction you ran your hand over the surface. We watched her write and draw as she customized this special gift.
I understood why she liked the pillow because I enjoyed playing with it, too. There was no right or wrong way to make the designs. It could be predominantly purple, mostly silver or a blend of the two colours. I could draw straight lines or make random patterns.
If there was something I didn’t like I could erase it with a simple swipe of the hand. Starting over was not a failure but an opportunity to make something new.
I can create this feeling in other areas of my life. The pattern of my life is unique to me. There is no need to be the same as everyone else. If something isn’t working out for me I can embrace the opportunity to start again.
Somehow, playing with this pillow was freeing. I may just have to get one of my own!
My daughter handed me an extreme dot to dot puzzle to complete. It was overwhelming with almost 500 dots to connect. Later I found out she’d given me one of the easier ones.
When I started the puzzle I had trouble locating dot number one, so found the lowest number I could and started there. Every time I got stuck I found a new place to start from. Eventually all of the dots were connected.
At times I had to focus intently to keep things in the right order. I found I was tempted to go to the dots close by rather than look a little farther for the correct ones. It would have been easy to go from 245 to 256, but that wouldn’t have produced the intended picture.
Once all the dots were connected, I had difficulty in seeing the picture that had been created. All I could see were dots andextreme dot to dot completed lines. I needed to step back to see the overall picture.
As I was working on this I thought of how it related to my life. There have been many times I have not known where to begin. I would be paralyzed, unable to move ahead. What I needed to do was to pick a spot and start. Any missing details could be filled in later.
Sometimes the next step I need to take is farther away than I anticipated and I’m tempted to go for a closer one. This would only serve to distort my life picture.
Even when all of the dots have been connected, often I’m too close to the situation to see what has been produced. I need to step back in order to see the whole picture.
I am so thankful that I know the one who always sees the big picture for my life. God has a plan for me and as long as I pay attention to the steps he wants me to take, the results will be much better than anything I could create on my own.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT