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Expert Says Puzzles Help Us Feel in Control

The World Puzzle Championship takes place every year at locations around the globe. In 2012 the event was held in Croatia and drew 145 contestants from 26 countries. According to an article in Time magazine, these connoisseurs of puzzles "eat, dream, and on rare occasions when they sleep, dream about puzzles full time." They're the true fanatics and geniuses of the puzzle world. But the article also noted that hundreds of millions of people around the world do crossword puzzles, play Sudoku, or participate in puzzles on their computers, phones, or tablets.

Why are puzzles so wildly popular all around the globe? Will Shortz, the crossword editor of The New York Times and NPR, has this to say:

We're faced with problems every day in life, and we almost never get clarity. We jump into the middle of a problem, we carry it through to whatever extent we can to find an answer, and then … we just find the next thing. [But] with a human made puzzle you have the satisfaction of being completely in control: you start the challenge from the beginning, and you move all the way to the end. That's a satisfaction you don't get much in real life. You feel in control, and that's a great feeling.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Control; Self-reliance; Self-sufficiency; Pride—This story illustrates our human but prideful tendency to control our own lives rather than surrender to the Lord, asking for his help in the challenges of life. (2) Mystery—God is not a puzzle that we can figure out and control. God will always remain beyond our grasp.

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