A few years after I officially became a senior citizen, I read that it is important for senior citizens to keep their minds active in order to maintain good mental health. And a way to do this is to do crossword puzzles. I do a crossword puzzle almost every day. I always hope to complete the puzzle without looking up the answers or making mistakes. About half the time my hope is fulfilled. I don’t really know if or how much doing these puzzles contibutes to the well-being of my mind, but if nothing else, it’s a fun thing to do as I’m having lunch. More important than that, I’ ve found that there are some principles that apply to solving crossword puzzles, that also can be applied to solving the questions, issues, and problems life. Here they are:
1. Sometimes you know that there is only one right answer answer, and you know without a doubt what that answer is. You apply that answer and find that you made the right decision. You got it right because you’ve had to answer that question many time during your lifetime (or youv’e done a lot of crossword puzzles).
2. Sometimes you know that you don’t have the slightest idea what the right answer might be. You know that you have to ask someone for (or look up) the right answer. You got it right because you made the right decision as to who or where to turn to for the right answer.
3. Sometimes you know that there can be two or three answers that could be right, but you realize you don’t know which one is right at this time and place. You know that if you move on to some other related questions, which you can answer correctly, those answers might help you arrive at the right answer to the question which you are having trouble with. Then you can try each of the possible answers to see which one will fit the time and place. You got it right because you had the courage to experiment, the wisdom to see how various questions relate to each other, and the patience to go through all that.
4. Sometimes You know without a doubt the answer to the question. However, when you apply that answer, it becomes impossible to correctly answer related or intersecting questions. You insist that there is somethoing wrong with the puzzle itself. You are not going to change the answer to this one question, which you know can be the one and only right answer. As a result, you will never complete the puzzle. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you will get it right if you are willing to apply the right answers to all the related questions. In doing so you will usually discover the answer to the question which is preventing you from completing the puzzle. You will finally get it right when you accept that you can be wrong, and that you have to open yourself to new knowledge and a new way of thinking.
I try to apply these principles whenever I do a crossword puzzle. I have found that they really do work. Sometimes I’m not too happy with that last one (no.4). Oh, how I insist that I have the right answer, and nobody, including myself, is going to make me change my answer. Even if it means I don’t finish the puzzle. Of course, I always hope I’ll finish the crossword puzzle without entering wrong answers or looking up the looking up the right answers. But a crossword puzzle is just a crossword puzzle.
In the whole scheme of things, I don’t think God cares one way or the other about the principles I apply as I go through a crossword puzzle. However, I believe God does care about how I apply His principles to the way I respond to the questions, issues, and problems of life.
Where do you go to find God’s principles of life? I believe the ultimate source is the Bible. You have to not only read, but also study the Bible, to discover these principles. Toward that end, Many Biblically based book have been written, sermons preached, and blogs published, codifying and interpreting God’s principles. However, God has other ways of communicating His principles to us.
As I said, I’m not sure if or how much doing crossword puzzles helps well-being of my mind. But I do know that God has used these crossword puzzles as a means of transmitting a few of His principles to me in a way that makes sense to me. One of my ongoing hopes is that God will be communicating with me in some form or other, in the ordinary routines of my life. It took a while, but I finally realized God has been using crossword puzzles, of all things, to fulfill that hope for me. I hope that you are also hearing from God in the ordinary routines of your life. If not yet, then I hope you will – soon.
Grace and peace,
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
May God be with you,
Patty and Ray