Dot-to-Dot (revisited)

The Greatest Dot-to-Dot Super Challenge Book 5, by David KalvitisAs I mentioned in my previous post, I have bought myself a dot-to-dot book (read the post to find out why!) At the start of the book there is the following advice:

When connecting dots that seem a vast distance apart, try this helpful hint.
1. Put your writing implement on the starting dot.
2. Focus your eyes on the “target” dot to which you are heading.
3. Keeping your eyes fixed on the “target” dot, drag your pen along the paper until you reach the dot. You should end up with a fairly straight line.

And it works! The temptation is to follow the moving point of the pen, but if you do this the line tends to go off course. Instead, you need to keep looking at the target, and then you’ll find that the pen heads naturally towards it.

And there’s a lesson here for those of us who seek to move on in our faith.

Often we can feel very far from where we know we are meant to be and where we desire to be. But in seeking to move forward we can only start from where we are, from whatever point we’ve reached, not from where we’d like to be or might pretend to be.

Then, in trying to ensure that we stay on track, there can be a strong temptation to keep looking at ourselves, constantly judging how we are doing and where we are going. But in fact, if we do this, it’s more likely that we’ll stray off course. Instead, we need to focus on the goal of our faith, the One whom we seek to follow, and then we’ll find that we head naturally towards him.

Which is, of course, just what the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2, NIV)

 

For more about dot-to-dot puzzles that you might enjoy, see the Monkeying Around website.

 

If you like this post, please do share with others; either way, please do let me know what you think.

Dot-to-Dot

The Greatest Dot-to-Dot Super Challenge Book 5, by David Kalvitis

I’ve bought myself a dot-to-dot book. Yes, a dot-to-dot book, just like the ones that many of us enjoyed when we were children. Join up the dots, and a picture appears.

Now these puzzles are, it must be said, a little more complex than any I completed as a child. One has over 1,300 dots! Glancing through, I could hazard a guess at what some of the pictures might turn out to be, but with most I have no idea.

Nonetheless, despite its complexity, it is still, undeniably, a dot-to-dot book.

So why have I, aged 47, suddenly decided to revisit this childhood activity? What prompted this somewhat unexpected purchase? It was something that someone said at church:

God will join up the dots.

In other words, God will make connections between all those seemingly separate and unrelated points in our lives. He will join them up and draw them all together, incorporating each and every one into the picture he is creating. We may not be able to see how things will turn out, but he can.

Now I do not mean by this that God himself positions every “dot” on the “pages” of our lives. I do not believe that everything that happens is pre-ordained as part of his “good, pleasing and perfect will” (although I recognise that others might say that it is).

But I do believe that somehow, in ways that I do not pretend even to begin to understand, God is at work. He is there, right in the midst of it all, joining up the dots and fashioning a picture that is beyond anything that we could envisage.

For God’s dot-to-dot picture encompasses the lives of every person who ever has lived and ever will live, every thing in all of creation from the beginning to the end of time. It is a four-dimensional puzzle in time and space (and, who knows, perhaps even in dimensions beyond these?)

So I am going to enjoy completing my dot-to-dot puzzles. I hope that spending a little time on this “pointless” activity (despite its many points!) will rekindle just a little of my childlike spirit. And perhaps once in a while I’ll reflect on the fact that God is at work on a multi-dimensional puzzle of his own, and that “he will join up the dots”.

 

For more about dot-to-dot puzzles that you might enjoy, see the Monkeying Around website.

 

If you like this post, please do share with others; either way, please do let me know what you think.