Have you ever played Tetris? This video game has various shaped tiles which descend on your screen and you need to manipulate them so they fit together. That’s a very simple explanation, but I’m sure many of you have played or know of this game.
I am a fan on hands-on rather than computer games so was pleased to find a wooden version of this puzzle.
My eleven-year-old grandson was happy to be the first to sit down with the challenge. Before long he had successfully completed the puzzle. I was impressed when twice more he fit random pieces together with the same positive result.
Each time he finished, the design of the coloured blocks was different. This gave me hope that since there was obviously more than one solution, I might be able to put it together as well.
Then the scene in front of me changed. Rather than going by instinct, my grandson studied the pieces and created intricate patterns. When he was left with one or two pieces that didn’t fit, he was confused and frustrated. The first few times had been so easy that he couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
This boy is a thinker so started over again, carefully planning each piece of the puzzle. It still didn’t work. Unfortunately, this was repeated again and again, becoming more difficult each time.
The lesson I learned from watching him is not to over think a situation. My initial instincts are usually correct. When I constantly second guess myself I end up unable to complete even a simple task.
Paralysis by analysis never works out to my benefit.
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