The problems with a puzzle ball

puzzle ball complete

At church this weekend, The Inventor used her memory verse points to buy a puzzle ball. It looked really fascinating with each color weaving into the next.

By the time we were home, she had taken the puzzle apart. Only one problem, she didn’t know how to get it back together.

She tried for a bit and then gave up. It sat on the table from Sunday until yesterday when I decided to attempt the 6 piece puzzle.

I could not figure it out. Since I didn’t have a starting point, all I had were 6 plastic half circles sitting in my lap. No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not put the puzzle back together.

Determined, I decided to visit my friend google. I found a picture of how it should look when completed. Suddenly, everything became a little more clear. I had a vision and a mission. I had a direction.

I quickly assembled the 5 pieces of the ball. Then came the tricky part. I had to figure out how to get in the last piece. Before long, I figured out that the green piece had to be the last one. It had notches to allow it to slide into the puzzle.

It seemed like each time I got close, the rest of the pieces would fall apart in my hands. I could see the solution and see an end, but I simply could not get there.

I questioned whether I was going the right direction, even though I was sure. Each time the ball crumbled into my lap, I thought of giving up.

But I wanted to help The Inventor get her puzzle back together. I wanted to help her figure out how to do it.

puzzle ball before last piece

After countless tries, I was able to slide three different pieces together in just the right way to allow the green piece to slip in.

When I was done I realized that unless all my fingers were in just the right place, it would fall apart. But now I knew how to put it together. Everything seemed so simple and clear.

As I was working on the puzzle, my mind started to wander over our past several months. I remembered the struggles and stress as my husband was quitting his job without work. I remembered the joy as he found a job soon after. I remembered the transition as we all adjusted to his new work hours. I thought of his schooling and how it is going to impact our family for the next four years.

[Tweet “Nothing was quite right until the last piece was in place. A piece that can only be supplied by God.”]

We cannot know what is to come or what the plans are. We may know what it is going to look like in the end, but there is no way of knowing how to get there. Without a guiding hand in the perfect spot, each step along the way, we will crumble and fail often.

puzzle ball broken

I put the puzzle back on The Inventor’s desk and started to help Miss Crafty with some of her school. About 30 minutes later The Inventor walked over to me, smiled, and showed me 6 broken semi-circles in her hand. All my hard work, all my labor, all my efforts–gone.

It was a good thing I learned how to put it together. This time it was easy. Within a couple minutes the ball was back together. Some day I will teach her how to do it herself but her hands are too tiny right now. Until she grows, I will continue to fix it each time she gets curious and takes it apart.


Have you ever tried one of these puzzle balls? Were you able to figure it out without having to ‘cheat’ and look up the solution?




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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Sep 20, 2014 @ 11:07:59

    I have tried the ones with the numbered sections where you try to guide a ball through the maze. Truly maddening. It’s not for the faint of heart!



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