This week, instead of taking care of my to-do list I spent countless hours finishing a beautiful 1000-piece puzzle. It was like I was obsessed. And it was definitely challenging! At the end, I had about 6 pieces left that had nowhere to go. They just didn’t fit in the spaces available. And that meant only one thing.
Yup, I had some of the wrong pieces in the wrong places.
It took about 10 more minutes to find the ones I had inserted incorrectly and replace them with the proper pieces. But once I did that, voila! The puzzle was completed. And as you can see from the photo, it really is pretty.
But my actions were insane!
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I was actually doing just what the above saying talks about. For 15 minutes. I kept trying the same pieces in the same spaces wondering why they wouldn’t fit. I’d remove them, look at them, then try to insert them once again, only to fail. It wasn’t until I decided to stop what I was doing, reevaluate, and try something different that I realized there was nothing wrong with those pieces—nothing at all. The problem was with me: I had incorrectly placed many six of them.
Once I figured out the problem and corrected my mistakes, the pieces easily went in and the puzzle was finished.
Maybe life is a little like that, too.
How many times have I found myself beating my head against a wall (figuratively of course) over something only to discover I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I had simply been willing to step back to gain a new perspective. With me the issue is that I can get stubborn and want to finish what I started, thinking I just need to work harder or concentrate more. When all along it might be as simple as realizing I’m doing it the wrong way and need to change my course of action.
Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15 NLT)
Here’s to being intelligent and ready to learn as the proverb says. And to being less stubborn while keeping my ears open to God’s direction.
What about you? Ever find yourself in a similar situation?