On July 20, I got an order for a customized jigsaw puzzle from a client. He wanted a customized version of our 1020-pieces plastic jigsaw puzzle and we were eager & elated to get to work once we got his payment confirmation.
I would eventually be reminded that the production of a customized plastic puzzle was no small feat at all especially when the total pieces would be 500 or more pieces. Before packing the pieces into the customized box, we had to painstakingly clean and inspect each piece of the transparent plastic to ensure that there was no error whatsoever. After the cleaning and inspection, then comes the final counting of the pieces before we seal the box. It was during the counting process we discovered something that will temporarily take my PEACE away: a PIECE was missing.
To be honest, I’m not sure I can express what I felt when my colleague told me that there were only 1019 pieces. After cleaning the entire puzzle set for almost 2 days, it was heartbreaking to realize that we would have to consider reproducing the puzzle. The peculiarity of this puzzle was such that we actually did not know which part of the full picture was missing and each part of the 1020 piece was not identical to a corresponding piece in the set. My peace left me. A piece was missing. Beyond the cost implications, this was going to take me another 5 days to produce.
I asked my colleague to count again. He counted 2 more times and still the total was 1019. I’m not one to show panick on my face but my heart was not at rest. I feared that I may have disappointed a client whose expectations of a customized jigsaw puzzle was as high as the heavens are from the earth. I was temporarily distraught.
After asking my colleague to count the puzzle for the 5th time, he finally found the missing piece. Where it came from, I do not know. All I know is that when the missing piece was accounted for, my peace was restored.
It wasn’t until 6 days after delivering the puzzle that I was overwhelmed with emotion upon remembering the incident. I would have cried but my tear glands were on strike. While discussing with my colleague about a new customized puzzle he had allegedly finished counting, I pointed out to him the missing piece of the puzzle underneath the table he was working on. He laughed at the cynical manner in which I expressed my point and I was momentarily overwhelmed with emotion upon remembering the 1020 pieces puzzle saga.
What overwhelmed me was the thought of realizing with a deep sense of understanding what Jesus meant when he shared with His audience about the parable of the lost sheep. The famous story was about a shepherd whose 100 pieces of sheep was missing one piece and he did not have peace until he found the missing piece. Believe me when I say I felt the FATHER’s heartbeat at the remembrance of the Son’s heart tale.
Sometimes I wonder what will happen if I don’t live a life that preaches the Good news to a world where we’re quick to point fingers at the thief in government without realizing that we may do worse if placed in the same position. I’m presently doing a financial audit of my assets, liabilities, expenses & income and I came to the realization that my inability to manage and account for N10,000 actually puts me in the same class as the government leader who can’t manage or account for N1 trillion. Please note that I’m talking about myself and not pointing fingers to anyone. I think I’m drifting off my point here. Let me come back to the main piece.
More importantly, the parable of the lost sheep made me realize that every life matters in God’s sight. Whether it’s the life of that Mallam, house girl, deaf friend, blind sister, boko-haram fighter, crippled girl, gala seller, road-side beggar or just a missing sheep, all life matters and their eternal destinies are as important and even more so than their present realities.
Sometimes a bird in the hand is NOT worth two in the bush. If it were so, the shepherd will not leave behind 99 sheep just to seek for 1 missing one. My heart was filled with so much joy when I found the missing piece which consequently brought me peace of mind.
I conclude by asking myself this question: What am I doing daily/weekly/monthly/yearly to help my FATHER look for the missing piece? I’ll remember to ask myself that question as often as possible. In the meantime, I was more glad when the client informed me he’ll be ordering 3 more 1020-piece puzzle soon.
Today’s guest post is by Mr Seun Akisanmi. He is the facilitator of Nigeria Photography and Expo Conefrence (NIPHEC), Proprietor of Elophotos Academy and Rezuna Crafts Africa, and an author of several life changing books. You can connect with him here Seun Akisanmi or with any of his services Niphec Rezuna Crafts