The Good Place – Part 2 – The Puzzle

Posted on December 4, 2019


If you read my last post, this one does not require any further set up nor a spoiler alert.  In my last post I looked at a conversation between Michael and Chidi that occurred in season 4, episode 9 of The Good Place.  If you need the set-up, go take a look at that post.

In this post, I want to draw attention to Michael’s closing comment of the conversation.  “Turns out life isn’t a puzzle that can just be solved one time and it’s done.  You wake up every day and you solve it again.  Terribly inefficient.”

As M. Scott Peck observed over 30 years ago in The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult.”  There just is no way around the fact that life is always going to present some challenge.  You just aren’t going to get to a place where you have truly arrived and you no longer have any problems or challenges.  I was about to write that it would be great if you could get to such a place, but then thought that I’m not sure if it would be that great.

The net of this is that all we can do is solve today’s problems.  Jesus made the same observation, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  (Matt. 6:34).

I have a long standing respect for Murphy.  I am referring, of course, to Murphy’s Law which states that if anything can go wrong it will.  By respect, I mean that I try to allow as few opportunities as possible in my life for things to go wrong.  At the same time, Murphy will have his due and we deal with it.

Perhaps this all gets covered by The Serenity Prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr and used as a mantra of recovery communities.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.



We live one day at a time, do what we can, and deal with the hardships (whether we like them or not).

I was also thinking about this as it applies to our Christian walk.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get to a place where you know you have really arrived?  Sin is no longer an issue.  You have achieved sanctification.  You have been completely transformed into the image of Christ.  But that is not how it works.  We struggle day by day.  Do the best we can.  Try not to hinder the Holy Spirit from doing His thing in transforming us.

As Michael observed, “terribly inefficient.”  But that’s the way it is.  Accepting that, as Niebuhr prayed, we can be reasonably happy in this life.

Posted in: life, spirituality