Slide to the Left

Sliding PuzzleI’m an analogy person. I like to compare things to other things…in order to make them simpler. I know some people REALLY hate analogy people…and if you’re a people who hates analogy people, I suggest you don’t read on.

I’ve heard all sorts of great analogies. Many are totally applicable and easy to follow. Others, not so much.

I was talking with Jay about some upcoming decisions/issues we have, and I thought of a great analogy to describe this season of my life.

Did you ever have one of those sliding puzzles? Sometimes a keychain, sometimes just a puzzle, these things were (somewhat) popular when I was a kid. Usually made out of really durable materials (cheap plastic), these babies were prime puzzle time…without all of the frustrations of an actual puzzle with thousands of pieces that inevitably got lost or eaten by some sort of house pet. (I’m not bitter…)

These little puzzles were made up of squares locked inside a frame with just one space open. In order to solve the puzzles, you had to slide each of the pieces around using that empty space. Every move affects another puzzle piece. “This one must move here so that one can move there, so…”

and on and on it goes.

Occasionally, one of the little cheap plastic (er, I mean, steel) pieces would get stuck in its position, unwilling to move out of the way. For eternity, your puzzle would look like some sort of massacred version of the real thing. Ah, what could have been.


You pulled the puzzle piece off of the frame (illegal move!) and placed it wherever you wanted it go to in the first place. Problem solved…

Except, now the piece doesn’t stay in the frame because it was never meant to come out. Or now, the puzzle is actually unsolvable because the order the pieces were in really did matter. Now, you REALLY can’t solve it. So you throw it away (wasting a good fifty cents).

(See where I’m going?)

I told Jay my life right now felt like one of these puzzles. In order to go to grad school, I have to get financial aid and a job. In order to get a job, I have to be hired (duh). In order to make it to school if I ever do get a job, I have to have a car. But I have to sell a car in order to have enough money to go to grad school, pay bills, and feed Jay and Toby (in that order).

God told Abram and Sarai He would make a great nation out of their child. Well, their little puzzle started to tick them off, so they decided to pull out one of the pieces and mess everything up, thinking the picture would look the same in the end. Unfortunately, their decisions weren’t God’s plan, and because of their choices, entires nations were affected.

I want desperately to start ripping out the pieces of my little sliding puzzle and reposition them where I think they should go.

But oh how I’ve tried that before…

Throughout my life, I’ve tried to fit things/places/jobs/people in places God never intended them to go. I messed up my puzzle so bad that the picture was no longer recognizable.

But I called out to the Lord…

and He fixed my puzzle.


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