the missing piece
(disclaimer: I am about to compare my life with a book intended for 5 year olds.)
there's a book by shel silverstein, it's called "the missing piece meets the big o" I was introduced to this book when i was a sr. in highschool. my sunday school teacher did this series where he read us kids books every sunday. i thought it was dumb at first b/c i was in highscool, you know, and kids books are not "cool" and reading them didn't make people like me. (that is what highschool is about, isn't it?) but the missing piece meets the big o is one of those children's books that aren't really meant for children at all, the one's that have hidden meanings behind the cartoon artwork and 17 inch font. and i liked it right away. i liked it b/c it taught me something i desperately needed to learn.
the book is essentially about how we go looking our whole lives for somewhere to fit. this first lines are: "the missing piece sat alone waiting for someone to come and take it somewhere" and in the book, the missing piece finds all of these things that seem like the perfect fit, but for one reason or another, they don't work out. so it tries to dress itself up, but that doesn't work either. finally, it finds one that fits just right, and they roll along in utter bliss. but the missing piece begins to grow, and it doesn't fit anymore. so it's back all by itself. until finally, one comes along that looks different. instead of missing a piece, like all the others, it is whole. it is "the big o". and the big o isn't looking for anything or anyone to fit. and slowly, it teaches the missing piece to pick itself up, and plop down again, until it becomes round and can roll on its own. and so it rolls on its own, and it is happy.
obviously there is some major symbolism in this book. so much about relationships, i hardly know where to begin. i think about this book at the beginning of school every year when i see the freshmen arrive. i think about it esp. when i think about my freshmen year. i tried to fit in so many places. we all did. we were all just trying to squeeze ourselves in, anywhere we could, hoping to find the perfect match. we all believed, and some of us still do, that we're not complete, that we're missing something and that college is the place that we're meant to find it. we go looking for it everywhere, in relationships, in academics, in bars, in libraries, in social clubs, in churches, in the student center, anywhere we can think of. but at some point, I quit trying to fit. but i didn't arrive at this point easily. i had tried to fit in lots of places. but they never really lasted. dressing myself up didn't make me fit. dressing myself down didn't either. neither did trying to be this or that, or trying to be anyone really. it seemed as if i was trying too hard. but after a while, i met some people who weren't trying to fit. and I learned from them to just roll with who I am. i have learned that I can be whole when I live life as God intended me to live. and that's not looking everywhere i go for a place to fit in a belong. it's embracing who I am and praying that God will help me help others do the same. i'm not a missing piece. nor am I missing a piece. i'm rolling, all by myself, rolling along as the Maryanne God created. now, that's not to say that I don't occasionally hit a bump in the road. (cough cough the last week of my life). but I'm trying, every day to be who I was made to be, not to fit who others want me to be.
(and to think, I learned all this from a childrens book! just imagine what could happen if we'd read the bible!)
Posted by Maryanne Rieder at 11:17 PM