Finding the Missing Peace

I’ve been working diligently on this thing for years now. This puzzle is so complex, containing way too many parts. Most of the pieces I’ve already found, obtained through the years. The many pieces of family are all there, each one having its own special place. The school pieces, through years of hard work, are pretty much resolved. My childhood pieces are all nestled in their particular corner. My friends, though ever changing, seem to be a tight fit. The big piece in the top corner, my job, seems to be secure for now. The piece representing my wife, well I know exactly where she goes, but I haven’t been given the piece just yet (though I know its on its way). Then there is the center piece. For a long time there was a hole there. I didn’t know what it looked like or how it would fit into the rest of what I had. I tried everything to get a piece that would fit there. I heard that piece required a high price, so I looked in every place to try to buy it, but it couldn’t be bought. I heard people in high places could obtain that piece, so I climbed that ladder, but almost lost some of my favorite pieces I’ve already acquired. I heard this piece had to do with happiness, so for years I searched for happiness, but all in vain. Then someone told me, only good people can obtain this piece, but after my near fatal attempt at perfection, I almost lost all hope. My puzzle was almost finished. Only that one piece left, yet without that center piece, the others seem to fall apart so easy. I spent most of my days just trying to keep what I had altogether.

Then, out of the blue one day, on a walk home, an old man in shaggy soiled attire stopped me dead in my tracks. He yelled out, “You still working on that puzzle?” Hurriedly, I ran up next to him and asked him how he knew that about me. He said, “Son, I’ve been watching you struggle with that thing for years now.” How could someone I’ve never met know so much about me? My curiosity peaked when he uttered the words I’ve been waiting to hear, “…and I’ve got what you’ve been looking for.” With my heart racing, I questioned my own mind. How could this old bum possibly have what years of money and time couldn’t turn up? So I questioned him, “Where do I get it?” He said, “There is but one place, only one man holds your prize.” I responded, “How much will it cost me?” “Its price is greater than anything you can imagine….” The fire in me dimmed. “…but you can have it for free.” I couldn’t say a word, but motioned for him to continue. “For you see, this piece was arranged for you long ago, but the piece was taken away from its keeper. To get it back, he had to pay for it in the form of life. A man paid that price by giving up his life, so that you, and all people who followed, would be able to obtain this perfect “peace”. I took what the man said to heart and hurried home to share my new peace with my family. My puzzled life was now complete.