Imagine that you love jigsaw puzzles and a friend tells you she bought a fantastic jigsaw puzzle for your birthday. Then she tells you that she couldn’t wait and she already assembled it for you, and shows you the finished puzzle. How do you feel?
If you love doing jigsaw puzzles, you’d most likely feel upset. Why? Because the joy comes from the process of putting it together. “What satisfaction would you have in going from having an empty jigsaw puzzle to a full jigsaw puzzle? The joy of the jigsaw is the piecing together.” (Lee Harris)
And so it is with life. The joys of life come from being a part of the process, each step along the path, the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the surprises and unexpected occurrences.
Yes, there is certainly satisfaction in having completed a jigsaw puzzle, but only because you were involved in the process all along. And it is the same with living — there is great satisfaction at the end of our human life to reflect on the journeys we’ve taken, the people whose lives we’ve touched, the heartfelt connections we’ve made, and the many delicious experiences we’ve had. But if we were watching a movie of someone else’s life (a life we hadn’t personally traveled), it wouldn’t feel the same.
It is not arriving somewhere that brings us joy, but rather, the steps we took along the way. It is the pieces of life that provide the richness to our lives.