Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cross Words and Jigsaw Puzzles

By Drs Bil and Cher Holton

Do you ever feel like your life is a big jigsaw puzzle, but someone forgot to provide the box with the picture on it? Or maybe your life is a 1,000-piece puzzle, but they gave you 2,000 pieces? Or worst of all, it's 1,000 piece puzzle, and you only have 999 pieces! That frustrating missing piece!

When you concentrate on any of these scenarios, it takes the fun out of doing a puzzle - and it can lead to a lot of "cross words!"

So, how can we heighten our spiritual consciousness and deal with the puzzles life brings us by paying attention to crossword and jigsaw puzzles as metaphors? Believe it or not, there are at least three important lessons we can learn!

1. Keep Your Focus on Your Purpose!

We remember how a good friend of ours misunderstood Bil's love for jigsaws and gave him this insanely difficult puzzle. It was nothing but shades of red that made a solid mass of merging colors. Initially, we tried working itand it adorned our puzzle table for several days, frustrating us. All of a sudden, one of us got the incredible brainstorm: "Why are we struggling with this stupid puzzle anyway? Just because she gave it to us doesn't mean we have to work on it!"

We had gotten off purpose! We were focusing on the frustrating puzzle rather than remembering our purpose was enjoyment, relaxation, and fun!

You cannot imagine the joy and fun we had as we separated the few pieces we'd managed to piece together and throw them back into the box!

So, what does this have to do with our spiritual growth? Well, the same thing happens in life all the time. Generally, 'cross words' are a signal to us that we have misplaced our focus and attention. We allow little issues, other people's words to irritate us get us and cause us to get off focus.

We find ourselves complaining about things, holding grudges against people, or spinning our wheels and getting mired down in trivial matters. We fail to 'let our light shine,' to be the BEST Christ we can be! Keeping our focus on our purpose in life helps us handle the puzzles life tosses at us!

2. Strengthen Your Spirit Connection by "putting in the time"

With jigsaw puzzles, we call it putting in "Puzzle Time." We actually created that term. It means that the way you get better and better at doing puzzles is by spending time doing them! We apply a variation of the term to other areas in life,

For example, in dancing, we refer to it as "floor time." During practice, you learn how to navigate through missed steps or crowded floors, so when the competition comes, you can call on that instinctive ability and use it in the moment! Every sport or profession has a name for it: ice time; hoop time; pulpit time. It's the time invested in honing your craft.

In the training discipline, it gives you the confidence to stand in front of a group, knowing you will be able to handle whatever happens. For example, we were recently booked for a keynote and a breakout session. The size of the breakout was going to be limited so that a small group could roll up their sleeves and really get into the keynote topic. Consequentially, we planned an extremely interactive session, with activities for around 25 people.

The moderator for the session got confused, and forgot to limit the group size, and we ended up with nearly 80 people! On the spot, we had to redesign our entire action plan, to be able to accommodate the new group size.

We were able to accomplish it, because we had "facilitator time" under our belts. We knew a lot of techniques, and could call upon them at the drop of a hat - but only because we had put in the time to learn and develop those skills. It's not magic - it's properly-laid groundwork.

With life experiences, it's the same thing. If you only turn to prayer and meditation when you are in the midst of a dire need, you may be unhappy with the results you get.

When we put time in the Silence (spend time at headquarters), on a daily basis, we are creating spirit equity! We are strengthening the skills we need, and when the situation calls for it, we are able to call upon those skills at a moment's notice, when life experiences place us in a situation where we need them!

For example, when we are faced with the appearance of lack, we can instantaneously refuse to give power to lack (use denials) so that lack has no power over us. We can instantly connect with Divine Substance, knowing we do not have to fear lack at all, because all we ever need is already available for us to call on. But we can't use this technique unless we have done the 'Heart Time' and the 'Silence Time by 'developing and strengthening our connection with Divine Substance.

Take a deep breath!

3. Now for the most important lesson we can learn from the world of puzzles! Imagine that you wanted to play a serious practical joke on your puzzle-loving friend. As you work with him or her on a difficult jigsaw puzzle, you very quietly, very secretly take away one of the pieces, and hide it. Then you continue to work on the puzzle. Sure enough, at some point, your friend is going to say; "I know this piece should be easy to spot. I just can't find it." You help them out, but you are not worried, because you know where the missing piece is!

That's the difference in the way people choose to deal with life's situations, be they health challenges, appearances of lack or limitation, seemingly unfair circumstances, relationship issues that are less than joyful, or any of the other things that hit our path on our life journey.

When we stand in Truth and walk our talk, we can face anything with total confidence and step out on faith, because we know where the missing "peace" is. It's spelled P-E-A-C-E, and it comes from that strong connection with Spirit. And that comes in only one way: putting God first in everything we do.

Jesus taught us this when He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." What this means is to spend time in the Silence (prayer). Ideally, we can LIVE connected, always knowing we have the PEACE that seems to be missing for other people.

When you know how to handle the puzzles of daily life with confidence and joy, you are able to:

* Keep your focus on your purpose;
* Strengthen your Christ Connection by putting in the time; and,
* above all else, you can live with the confidence of knowing that you always have the missing PEACE!

That's how you walk the spiritual path on practical feet! - 14682

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