Do you know anyone (maybe yourself?) who has one aspect of their life firing on all cylinders, while other parts of their life are falling apart? Maybe their career is going great, but their family life is a mess. Or they take every opportunity to travel and see the world, but their debt is unbearable. Or they have found the one person they have waited for their whole life, only to sacrifice their other friendships. We all hope and expect that there are answers to all our worries and all our troubles and all our challenges. But we only have limited knowledge of what’s the right thing to do. We often look for answers to fill in the blanks in our life as we go. In these circumstances, it can be helpful to think about how life can be like a Sudoku puzzle.
Sudoku is a number-placement puzzle played on a 9×9 grid. Solving a Sudoku puzzle requires placing each of the digits from 1 to 9 exactly once in a column, exactly once in a row, and exactly once in each of the nine 3×3 mini-grids. There is only one way to correctly solve any Sudoku puzzle. In solving a Sudoku puzzle, sometimes a number fits perfectly in a column and a mini-grid, but is completely out of place and inconsistent with the row it’s placed in. Once you see a number doesn’t fit all three requirements, you must erase it. Ignoring the mistake and continuing to fill in more numbers does not get you any closer to solving the puzzle. A Sudoku puzzle is solved only when all the numbers fit in their row and in their column and in their mini-grid.
Life can be like a Sudoku puzzle. We can have a few aspects of our life completely figured out, and we don’t want to change a thing. But other things we value are a mess and are out of control. If we’re honest about our situation, we realized we made a big mistake somewhere. We must accept that we have to change what we thought was working well in our life. We have to start over and try something different in our careers, relationships, families, finances, or health. But this time we want to make better choices so that everything works well together our life.
Throughout history, people have asked for God to fix what’s wrong, to know what’s true, and to find the right answers to fill in the emptiness and face the challenges in their lives. Thankfully, God has revealed Himself and His truth to His people through His Holy Word. God has told us that there is one answer, and only one answer, to living life in accord with all aspects of His created purpose for each of us. And God has promised that anyone can know His answers. Whatever mess we find ourselves in, all He asks is that we admit our mistakes, and begin to follow Jesus. As our life becomes more like Jesus, all the blanks and emptiness in our life will be properly filled in. All our challenges will seem a bit smaller, and everything in our life will begin to work together for good. It may take time, but by His grace we can continue to walk by faith and hope for an increasingly wonderful future if we truly desire to know and obey Him.
While the big questions of life may appear diverse, God give us one and only one consistent answer to all the big questions of life. Jesus said, “follow me.”
· How can I know what’s true?
o Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8)
· What does God require of you?
o “To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6)
· What is the greatest commandment?
o Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and…you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22)
· What must I do to be saved?”
o “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16)