‘Tis A Puzzlement

Author: Carolyn Gard

I had several ideas for this devotional, but none of them seemed quite right.

Then I read a book called The Puzzler. The author wanted to find out why we love puzzles. He tried several kinds of puzzles: jigsaw, math, cryptic, visual, Sudoku, Rubik’s Cube, anagrams, mazes, chess. He considered what the appeal of each one is, and why we like it.

His trials didn’t always go well. He admitted to getting so frustrated that he once threw a Rubik’s Cube across the room. Although he knew that getting mad only hindered his ability to solve puzzles, it wasn’t until he read a comment by a psychologist that he found the answer: ‘Don’t get furious, get curious.’

It’s a philosophy that works in any aspect of life. Instead of getting furious at the driver who cut me off, I can get curious and think of all sorts of reasons that they were in a hurry. Instead of getting furious when the grocery store stops stocking one of my favorite brands, I can get curious and ask why. Instead of getting furious at the Montana residents who think it’s all right to shoot wolves that wander out of Yellowstone Park, I can get curious and listen to their side of the story.

Being curious instead of furious isn’t always easy to do. I can be furious at mass shootings, but I don’t know that I want to be curious about the shooter’s background.

One of the hardest times for me to be curious rather than furious is when I’m talking with someone who has different political views.

I get furious at police brutality. I am furious that African Americans are so frequently victims of police violence. But I also want to notice how my anger calls me to go further, to be curious about why this tragedy happens again and again.

And all this brings me to a different idea–does God get furious or curious? Does God get furious over what we’ve done to each other and to the planet that was given to us, or does God get curious about how it’s all going to end?

Trying to figure out God is a puzzle. The best we can do is to get curious about what God asks of us, and then try to do it.

God, whether you are furious or curious, we know you are love. Keep us curious enough so that we can keep probing your infinite mysteries.




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