Connecting the Dots
Remember when you were a little kid, doing one of those connecting the dots activity sheets? No lie, I hated those so much. Because I wanted to know what I was drawing, so I could make it look perfect.
Side note: That’s the reason why I loved Geometry in high school. Because you already know the answer, and you just have to solve the steps to get there. So with those connect the dots sheets, my little kid brain was basically demanding to know the answer before solving the puzzle.
Well, today it hit me. That’s what our spiritual life is like. Connecting the dots. We don’t know the big picture. We don’t know what it’s gonna look like in the end. All we can do is just connect one dot at a time.
At the daily level, for me at least, it looks like connecting the dots in Scripture. Following as God leads me through a treasure hunt in His Word.
At a much bigger level, connecting the dots looks like moving to a new city or starting a new job.
His Word is for sure a lamp on this path we call life (Psalm 119:105, my own paraphrase), but we have to remember that a lamp can only get us so far. It’s not a super-beam that illuminates the rest of the journey. (I could get into the technicality of how a super-beam wouldn’t really work anyway, but that’s not the point.)
The point IS that we can pretty much just see to the next dot. Or the next two dots.
In my mind’s eye, I can see a little girl bent over her paper in concentration (and probably frustration).
Her tongue is peeking out of her mouth, per usual.
She is holding her pencil with an unnecessary firmness. (To be read: SHE IS GRIPPING THE PENCIL WITH EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF STRENGTH IN HER TINY BODY AS IF IT WERE GOING TO JUMP OUT OF HER HAND AT ANY MOMENT.)
And a little too firmly, she draws a less than perfect line from one dot to the next.
The little girl lifts her pencil from the paper and tries, once more, to figure out what the picture is. If she just knew, then she would be able to draw it better.
She hates the way the picture looks when she draws straight lines from one dot to the next. It makes the picture look terrible. Real puppies don’t have jagged edges. Real trees look fluffy, not geometric.
In case you didn’t know, that little girl is me. And she’s still me. I still get frustrated about the jagged edges–not in pictures, but in real life. I can see things coming together, and I feel like I have to go back and erase and draw it again, but better.
Yeah. That doesn’t work.
Remember how I was pressing a little too hard on the paper because of my death grip on my pencil? And usually that shows up in life, too. You can’t reverse those decisions. Or take those words back. Or make it to that party you promised you would attend. That kind of thing.
The beauty of the spiritual comparison here is that we don’t have to fix the jagged edges. God does that as He molds us along the way.
And let’s be honest. In life, it’s rarely a straight line from one dot to the next anyway.
I don’t really have much else to say on this topic. I just wanted to share this simple revelation with you. But I hope it encourages you the way that it encouraged me.
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