Hobbies: How The Jigsaw Saved Me

This is the puzzle I’m working on: Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

Yes, I remember vividly when doing a jigsaw puzzle saved me from going crazy. It is probably my best hobby. In this post I want to write about my hobbies and the value of hobbies.

I just started this new Personal Blog a few days ago and I have big plans for it—something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now. A typical blog focuses on one main subject. But this personal blog is much more inclusive. It will cover everything I am interested in and want to write about—that is, everything that I feel will be interesting to my audience—to you. Here is a list of categories I am planning to write on.

  • My Life Story (with ten sub-categories)  
  • My Salvation Story
  • My Work
  • Church life
  • Singleness
  • My Devotional Life
  • My Writing
  • My Hobbies
  • My Books (promotional)
  • Books I’m Reading (short summaries)
  • Political Interests
  • Bible Prophecy (mainly why I am interested it the subject)
  • Sermon Notes
  • Critical Issues (problem issues that are a particulate interest to me)

So far, I have been writing on my writing style and also on my interest in politics. I will probably write more on these topics down the line, but I don’t want to get stuck on any one topic for very long. I will change now to the topic of hobbies…

How the Jigsaw Saved Me

I remember the day well. My wife of six years announced that she wanted a divorce, and she demanded that I leave the house—and our four children. I won’t go into the details, but the memory of it was that I was devastated and almost in shock. I knew we were not communicating, but I really didn’t see divorce coming.

When I moved out, the only thing I took with me was a card table, a chair and my favorite puzzle. I left everything else with her. After all she had the kids. And I knew that I didn’t need stuff. But I had to have something to keep me sane—besides prayer. So, I sat at that card table and prayed and cried, and put together that puzzle. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to think too hard about my situation, lest I become bitter. So I did the puzzle. God gave it to me to calm me down—to save me from going crazy.

What is a Hobby?

I looked up “hobby” on my computer thesaurus. It gave me these words: diversion, relaxation, pastime, sideline, leisure pursuit. That’s a start, but we can add a lot more to it. It’s something that’s fun for us. As I mentioned above, for me it was something that calmed me down and kept me from overthinking my situation, and from getting bitter and thinking vengeful thoughts. It really helped me to pray. Because when we pray it requires that we say to God, okay I give up. I will leave everything to you. I can’t do anything about it anyway. She had made up her mind and I knew it.

You know, since my divorce (thirty years ago) I have continued to do puzzles. I’m doing one right now, a 2000 piecer (pictured above). I’ve been at it for a long time. I do it a little every day. I try to get at least two or three pieces together a day. Did I tell you it was a hard puzzle?

One of the things a jigsaw puzzle will do for you is give you a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. As you see the puzzle coming together day after day you will actually feel your poor life come together. And this is also true of other hobbies. I like to do wood working. I haven’t done it for a while, but I have been able to make a few pieces of furniture. So much fun. And the joy is in seeing it come together.

I suppose you could also consider watching TV and movies a hobby. But you have to be careful that they don’t become an obsession and a huge waste of time. Anything you do as a hobby (to relax and for fun) has its limits and purpose. We should never allow it to take over our life so that we find that we are using it to escape daily responsibilities. TV I think can especially do that. If we allow it, it can become an idol.

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