Mickey Mouse and the Magi

My grandson Isaiah had dumped the pieces of his new Mickey Mouse puzzle on the floor and was calling for me to help him put it back together. As I sat across from him I realized that this was going to be a much more difficult task than I had anticipated. First, there were actually pieces of three puzzles mixed together. Secondly, I was looking at all the pieces upside down – without my glasses on. And probably most importantly, I had no idea what the completed puzzle was supposed to look like since the finished puzzle picture was nowhere in sight.

Problems one and two were easily remedied by slipping on my cheap pair of cheater glasses and sorting the puzzle pieces by their markings on the back. (At this time I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the Disney puzzle makers for actually putting markings on the back.) Problem number three was also solved after an extensive, but successful search for the box lid picture.

In the process of all the sorting and searching it suddenly occurred to me that this predicament seemed vaguely familiar. And it really had nothing to do with Mickey Mouse.

Everybody knows that it is easier to work toward an end when you have a clear goal in mind. And yet, how often have I fumbled around in my life trying to find the corner pieces so I can fill in the rest without really knowing what the big picture is? And here’s an even bigger question – how can I know what the picture of my life is if I don’t actively seek out the One who knows the answers?

Over two thousand years ago a new star appeared in the eastern sky. It heralded the birth of a king. And those who had been earnestly watching and waiting for it followed after its bright light. Searching for answers, this learned and influential group of men traveled great distances to meet the One who had been promised by the ancient scriptures. They did not know the exact route on which the star would lead them, but they knew Who would be there at the end. According to Matthew 2:11 when they found Him, they bowed down and worshipped him.

When it comes to putting together the pieces of my own life I would do well to embrace the vision of the Magi. To wait and watch eagerly for the signs God has put before me to guide me into the plan He has established for my life. I don’t need to see the whole finished product, but must rest in the knowledge that God knows the good plans He has for my life. He alone has arranged the corner pieces. I need to stay close to His heart to fill in the rest.

I Wonder?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary lately. Wondering what was going through her tender teenaged mind. Knowing that many, if not most, of the people in her small town doubted her story. It wasn’t the first time that two people in love, pledged to be married had found themselves in this predicament. A baby on the way before the official ceremony, but the story she told, well it was ridiculous. Really it was more than that, it was completely unbelievable. After all, why would she above all other young women be chosen to carry the son of God? Was she able to hold her head high amid the gossip? Did her friends believe her story or did they nod in support only to secretly question her honesty?

In the last days of her pregnancy did she resist the urge to complain as she made the laborious journey to Bethlehem? When they arrived in the small city overflowing with people did panic begin to set in when she realized that she was going to be spending the night in a barn? And when the pain of labor overwhelmed her did she cry out for her mother as Joseph attempted to do the job for which he had not been trained? Was there ever a moment when she thought that surely God would have made a different provision for His son?

Sweet Mary, mother of God, when you held your beautiful son for the first time, did you know then what was in store for your baby Jesus? Did the barn’s beam cast a shadow of the cross over the manger where you laid him? Or in the Father’s great mercy, did God conceal this information?

Thirty years later as you stood at the foot of the cross did your mind flash back to the starlit stable where shepherds sought out the King? Did you wonder why the angels who had pronounced his birth did not fall out of heaven to rescue Him from death? Mary, most blessed among women, what a heavy burden you were called to carry. I thank you darling sister in Christ, for being faithful to God’s call; for believing the promise and yielding up your life to God’s holy plan. May I follow your example of selfless love.