Life is a board game and time is your opponent. I don’t know about you, but I have never played the game of Chess, nor have I ever had a desire to learn. But when I was young I would watch some friends of the family play the game from time to time. I noticed they played with intense concentration, blocking out all distractions and carefully considering each move. It must be hard to develop the habit of reflecting before each move. Millions of people in the world play this game. Chess was originally invented in India, around the 6th century AD. Its purpose was to help improve the lives of people with mental problems. Over the centuries, people have played the game for pleasure and for the challenge. Chess is a two-player game. The game has a total of 16 pieces for each player to play – the King, Queen, Bishop, Rook, and so on. Each piece has its own power. Every time a player makes a move, either a positive or negative outcome occurs. The pieces keep moving forward and the player must make an intellectual decision as to where he should move next. In Chess or in any game, the object is to win. We play the game of life in a similar fashion. We make decisions every day based on how we want to move forward.
How do you play this match? Some people navigate their way carefully through the journey of life. They have won or are winning the game, or at least that’s how it looks from the outside. They make their decisions based on the principles they choose. From my personal experience, I’d say the game is not as easy as it seems. Don’t you agree? In our lives, we are connected by many relationships, which we rely on for survival. Whether it’s family, friends, work, home, finances, etc., each of us makes decisions based on what we want from life.
Since we are all at times driven to have the desires of our flesh, we may find ourselves trying to have our cake and eat it too. Some people make their move on the game board of life by manipulating people or situations to get what they want, instead of basing their decision on moral principles. If you don’t make your move diligently, life may make its own move and “knock off a piece” of your empire. I have been there, and have had to tell myself, “That was disappointing, but so what? It’s a part of life.” We can’t do it with our own strength. We need help, the kind of help that can give us the power to dust ourselves off from a fall and play the game again with better plans. It may take a few times. Sometimes you must move backward to take better steps forward. That’s called life. I must say, I’m glad for those who have learned from their falls. They go forward saying, “The game is on!” I love how beautifully David the prophet says in Psalm 119: 71, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your law.” He recognized that his affliction brought him closer to God. Hopefully we also can learn from our failures and live the life that was intended for us, without the heavy winds of life knocking us down.
The next verse emphasizes it. “Fight for the right things, in the right way, and the right motive.” 1 Chronicles 11:10
There are many kinds of believers and religions in the world. Some believe in God (He exists and created the universe), then there are others that believe God is who He says He is, does what He says he will do, and is clear about what He wants us to do.
There are also people who are atheists (they believe in self-knowledge and for them, God does not exist). Each of us looks at life from our own unique perspective and many of us are driven to “win the game” on our own strength. But God has intended for us a different way.
“Fear not, for I am with you; don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
You might say, “Those people don’t believe in God, but it seems like they have everything. They certainly look happy.” It looks good, doesn’t it? But are they happy within themselves? Do they have the peace you have? They’re always moving from one thing to another. Nothing can satisfy them for long, because the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Nothing can quench their thirst for more. They may look rich on the outside, but are penniless in their heart and soul. Do you think they have won the game of life? I don’t think so. None of us will finish victoriously, unless we align ourselves with God through His one and only son, Christ Jesus. Through faith His strength becomes ours, as He reaches out to keep us from falling. “Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light’. ” (Matthew 6: 28-30) Life is not always about winning. Sometimes it’s about learning and growing.
If we pay careful attention to God’s word, we will see that He never promised to move the pieces of the game of life for us, but He has promised that He will be with us and with His help, the obstacles blocking our forward growth will be removed. We must keep the verse below in mind, as this is how God wants us to live our lives. If we do, we will undoubtedly win the game of life in the end.
“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8