The month of December always evokes conviviality for me. I really enjoy the extra time I can spend with my family during the holidays, the candles, a burning fireplace or sitting on the couch with a rug. The shuffleboard is brought back from the attic and suddenly people, like my mother, find the peace and quiet to spend evenings doing puzzles at the dining table. If my mother gave herself the time, she could do this evening after evening and I wanted to help her every now and then. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience to search very long for a piece that fit. Especially if we discovered at some point that the puzzle was not complete, it could sometimes fly across the room in frustration. Of course this wasn’t because of my mother. The Kingdom of God In the book Live Royally, Martin Koornstra describes the Kingdom of God as the edge of the puzzle. The edge of the puzzle is already there, but the puzzle pieces still have to be put in the right place. Those puzzle pieces are you and me. God has chosen to make you and me in His image to rule over the earth (Genesis 1:26). The Message translation says so beautifully ‘God spoke: Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflect our nature’. Adam and Eve were created by God to reflect His character and who He is but also to take responsibility and care for the garden where they were placed. To build God’s Kingdom through which He becomes visible. A unique piece You were created by God, like Adam and Eve, to reflect Him in the world we live in. You do this through who you are, but certainly also through the things you do. You can shape this ‘doing’ in different ways. We have all been instructed to love our neighbor, for example, but we have also been individually given different talents. Those talents combined with your unique character ensure that you, as a unique person, have something unique to bring to the table. As humans, we find it difficult to say that we are good at something. We often compare ourselves to others with the result that we don’t think we are good enough. I hereby want to say to you, you are good enough! God wants to work with you through His Holy Spirit. You have been given something by God, namely the talents and gifts that you can perform. You can take responsibility for and care for the garden where you are placed. Putting the whole puzzle together God has created a very beautiful puzzle and it is up to us humans to connect ourselves to Him, as it were, at the edge of the puzzle, but also to each other. It is my desire that we as people, organizations, churches and companies do what God has created us for. In connection with each other, so that the puzzle becomes more and more complete and we will reflect Him in the world around us. Young leaders While you are reading this, I am away for a weekend with 46 wonderful students and 9 wonderful coaches from our School for Young Leaders. During this weekend the theme of personal calling is central. We believe that through education, practical assignments and personal young leaders embrace the talents God has given to them personally and that they take responsibility for using these to build God’s Kingdom in the places where they are. How wonderful it is that at this age they discover and embrace their talents, but also work together, making the beautiful picture of God’s Kingdom increasingly visible. Will you join us in praying for what God is doing with these young leaders this weekend?