Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life is Like A Chess Game

I started playing chess while in grade school. It was fun to compete with all the kids in my neighborhood and some of the dads joined in. One day after beating my dad, he stormed off to get a book he had stashed away in his bedroom entitled "How to be a Winner at Chess". He told me the book didn't help much and threw it at me. I loved reading about special moves and trick plays and the book become my guide.

My brother-in-law learned to play chess and has become a formidable opponent. One year he gave me a hand-made chess board with custom pieces that he made himself. We have played thousands of times on this special chess board. I also cherish the chess clock he gave me. We set the clock for twelve minutes each and if your clock runs out before the game ends, you lose. Many of our games have come down to a difference of just one or two seconds on the clock.

Since exiting the cave recently, I have started to see things around me in a different light. This new perspective has helped me to understand difficult subjects like the meaning of life.

In chess, the object of the game is to defeat the opponent's king. Both players start with the same number of pieces and the white side gets to make the first move. There are millions of possible moves. The challenge is to look into the future and predict what your opponent will do. There is an advantage to controlling the center of the board. Time is also a big factor. When time and space are used properly, the king can be defeated.

Sometimes, it is necessary to sacrifice a piece in order to gain an advantage. If the king is left unprotected, the game can come to an end very quickly.

In life, your team consists of many players. Each has a unique gift to contribute. In order to win, all the pieces need to work in harmony. If one piece is not contributing, the whole team weakens and becomes vulnerable.

Later in the game, the most insignificant of pieces can become game changers when they make it to the other side of the board. You are allowed to transform these pieces into queens making your team unstoppable.

In chess, the pieces are called pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, kings and queens. In life, the pieces are called attitude, goals, time management, relentlessness, compassion and empathy. Each player must participate in order to protect the king (your soul). When in trouble, go back to the guide book and look for special moves and trick plays. My dad also had one of these stashed away. Near the end of his life he told me the book contained the keys to the gates of Heaven. I have learned so much more from it than the first book he gave me about winning at chess. It is the best seller of all times and it teaches us how to be a winner. This book is the Bible.

It amazes me that the most insignificant of pieces on the board has become the King. He sacrificed Himself so that all the other pieces could live forever. We will celebrate the King's birthday in just ten days.

While we wait for the King to return, He has put the game of life in our hands. By working together, we can defeat the Evil One. It will require making sacrifices but we can achieve victory. He is watching over us while we make our moves. Let's stay focused...the clock is ticking.

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