Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Late night Puzzles

Sometimes I lay in bed and can't sleep. It just happens, no reason.

So I flip on my light and find something productive to do until I can sleep. Sometimes I read- a book, my bible. But lately I've taken to trying to make my own puzzles.

Sudoku puzzles, to be exact.
Despite being an "expert level" sudoku player, I'm terrible at making the puzzle.

See, the key in creating is to start by making the solution.
This, I soon found, is a puzzle in itself.
Creating a solution is no simple task- at least not for mybrain.
You can't sporadically place numbers and call it good.
...and I'm trying to use my own brain and pen to do this, not a computer formula.

Ive now tried five times without success.
Every time, I get close to the end of the solution, and I find that I have three 4s in one box, and no place for my 9, or that I mixed up the placement of all the 2s.

Then I think- I'll just fix those numbers and it will work.
But to fix those numbers, I usually have to change Another number. Yikes.

Without fail, this puts me to sleep after a while. My brain gets tired from all that work!

....but then I wake up thinking about puzzles. And I find myself thinking about puzzles, thoughts about them flitting around my head like stray flies in the middle of the day...

How can you start with a solution?
Surely, you have to have an end goal in mind, an overarching picture of where you want to go. But to be successful, you have to be able to see all the pieces fit together.

I've always thought God was a great puzzle maker. I've always loved puzzles of any and every kind, so I've also loved the picture of God being able to see the final solution before we can. It was nice imagery for me, I suppose.

My problem is, I always slap these labels -"PuzzleMaker"- on God without really understanding them. Now I think I'm starting to get it.

God started with the solution.
He didn't make the test then say, let me make the key, like some of our professors do on multiple choice tests. He didn't say this is my goal, so let me think about how I'll get there.

The goal and the solution were one and the same.
The puzzle fell apart when we tried to handle it- but it was always intended to come back together, because it STARTED as a solution.

I hope I'm making sense, and not just "puzzling" you to death.
Personally, this whole thing makes so much sense and yet none at all to me.
It's that.... wonderful mystery of God...

Maybe the best thing for you to do is try it.
Try to make a puzzle today.

Start with the solution.
Then test it.
If there is more than one solution, it's an invalid puzzle.

Makes you think, doesn't it?