A woman, probably in her 80s, recently came over to me at a church where we were setting up for our Passover Seder. “My life’s a puzzle,” she said. “My name used to be __________, then I got married and then I was _______________. I used to live in Pennsylvania, but now I’m in Florida.” Her eyebrows were furrowed as her eyes seemed to plead with me to help her with this puzzle she called her life. And on and on she repeated the same phrases. Finally I had to excuse myself—people were coming into the church and soon we would be sharing the origins of our communion service.
After the presentation, I was standing at our book table and this puzzled woman came back and began explaining her predicament once more. In the Gospels, we read about times Jesus met those whose minds were troubled. And I did find when I spoke His name, it seemed to calm her. She agreed when I said, “You know, through all those puzzling times, Jesus Himself was with you.”
Last night I had to admit, in many ways I am feeling the same as this woman. Now in my late 60s (YIKES!), with so many different times, so many different places—and maybe not so many different names, but yet so many different personas, it’s hard not to want to “put it all together”—or see all the puzzle pieces come together into one complete landscape. Yet it doesn’t—each individual segment of my life has its own identity and the yearning to pull it all together seems an impossible task. And I know what I told this woman last week holds true for me as well. If I do not make my Lord the focus of every aspect of my life (past, present and future) but instead make myself the focus, I’ll never have peace.