The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
Jane Goodall has been called the original Earth Mother. The British-born anthropologist and animal activist’s innovative studies of primate behavior in the wild have shaped modern understanding of animal behavior and won her the title of United Nations Messenger of Peace. Observing animals has also colored her thoughts about human behavior. Goodall was recently quoted in Reader’s Digest Magazine as saying, “I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle… overwhelming.., but if you work on your little part of the jigsaw and know that people all over the world are working on (theirs), that’s what will give you hope.”
Jigsaw puzzles generally make my brain hurt. I could get very wrapped up in putting them together, if I took the time. I know that they sharpen the mind and reduce stress in most people. They take a lot of time and patience, kind of like Goodall’s studies of primates. But I don’t have an innate desire to “solve” the entire puzzle by myself. I prefer to think of myself as just one piece of the puzzle, connecting to a few others, who connect to a few more, and so on.
When we consider this huge world and how little space each person takes up on the planet, we can be exceedingly humbled. And yet the same God Who created everything we see and all we don’t see knows each of our names and all of our thoughts and concerns. Luke 12:7 says even the very hairs on our heads are numbered and known by our Lord. We are indeed a very tiny puzzle piece, but God empowers each of us to do our part. God told the Israelites, “This day…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses” (Deuteronomy 30:19). He challenges us to “choose life,” and that life is the Lord’s way (v.20). We may feel like tiny, insignificant puzzle pieces in the vastness of this life on earth, but we have an all-powerful God who tells us we are precious and honored in (His) sight” (Isaiah 43:4). We must work with the puzzle peace we have been given, for the good of the whole puzzle-earth.
Gracious Lord, embolden me to use my talents for the benefit of others. Amen