I have just enjoyed 2 marvelous weeks with my 97-year-old Father. Though showing some typical signs of aging, he is still in good health and has a clear mind. He loves to discuss Mennonite history, family history, politics and current issues especially in the church.
About five years ago, he attended a seminar on aging where he heard that doing puzzles helps keep one’s mind alert. Since then, puzzles have been his main “occupation.” So of course when I visit, he wants help putting a puzzle together.
Father is always anxious to finish the current puzzle he is working on. When it takes too long, he gets frustrated. But when completed, he waits one or maybe two days, then takes it apart and starts another one. “So what is the point?” one could wonder. Certainly the point is not to achieve a complete picture that will be saved for its own sake. And as much as there is a drive to finish, the purpose cannot be to finish — or one would not want to start again! So we can only conclude that the goal of putting together a puzzle is to enjoy the process of doing it.
The activity of children is the same. Children play for the sake of playing, not for the sake of producing an end product. An adult (might) paint a picture in order to have a product that they can sell; a child will paint a picture in order to enjoy creating with paint.
Our walk with the Lord is also much the same. So often we think that God will be impressed with what we accomplish for Him. We want to achieve and have results to show for our efforts. But God just wants us to walk with Him. He can get done whatever he wants to get done with or without me. Wow! Really? Yes, really. But He chooses to use me, because he wants to take me on a journey of walking beside, learning from, communing with, and listening to, HIM.
If we focus too much on what we are doing for God, we will miss the point. As my friend, LaVerne Kreider always reminds me, “It is all about the journey.” It is the process of living with God that counts.