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Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:25 pm

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"You look puzzled!" she said.

"It's more than a look, my life is a puzzle," I replied.

My favorite writer is Og Mandino. He passed away and I was left empty. The truth is, when I visit the local bookstore, I visit his books. I run my fingers across the bindings and whisper "Hello, Og!"

Now, having my own book there, it makes the visit a little easier. In Barnes and Noble, in the Christian book section, I am only one shelf down from him. Mandino...Perks.

But I've always looked up to Og, anyway.

I mention him because I still communicate with his wonderful wife, Bette. It was through her that I learned a little behind- the-scenes stuff about Og.

She would walk into his office and he'd be staring at this huge blank wall. "It freaked me out sometimes, but that is how he saw his stories. Played out, written out on the wall. Kind of like putting together a puzzle."

In remembering that recently I thought about life. The pieces of the puzzle that I have struggled with and, as years go by, I hope I always have a lot of pieces left. I wouldn't want to think that I'd be standing there with one last piece and hearing God calling, "Go ahead, Bob. You're finished."

Here is what I believe. Life is like a puzzle and God provides all the pieces. Although we struggle sometimes trying to find them, He places most of them right in front of us. The only one's that might be hidden are those pieces shaped like people.

The "people pieces" are the important ones. He makes us work for them. We are taught from the beginning to love one another. In order to do that we must be more open to sharing, caring and working beside those who may be different than we are, but may very well be an essential part of our own happiness and success. Without them we feel incomplete.

Some people think that "things" are all they need to be happy. They surround themselves with stuff but still feel empty. That's because things can never take the place of people. When we accept that, when we realize that we can't do it alone, we begin to see the cup as half full rather than half empty.

Here's how I know that life is really a puzzle.

If tomorrow you weren't here, there would be a "You" shaped space in this world, a hole left empty because of your absence. And me? I'd be standing there with this puzzled look on my face.

You are a piece of my life puzzle...I need you!

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