Look At The Entire Board

Look At The Entire Board

Matthew 28:20
…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen.

Look at the entire board! 👀🔎♟️.

I recently started playing the game of chess again. I have no ambitions to be a Grandmaster, or even to be very good at all. But as with any game that I enjoy, I do desire to get better and expand my set of skills over time. Any hobby I can do that lets me escape from the world and put my brain to the test for a bit is usually where you will find me in my off time.

Of course, if I’m bringing up the game of chess then you can (rightly) guess that it will be used to enhance this post’s lesson. And my…OH MY are there so many lessons you can learn from playing (and LOSING) in chess ♟️🤦‍♂️😤😃. We could talk about the importance of studying (your bible) and learning how to play like the true Grandmaster (Jesus Christ). Or we could talk about the problems of over analyzing and taking no real action (analysis paralysis) – despite knowing what (the bible) says works and does not work. We could talk about the importance of THE KING 👑, but also the importance of his children (especially knowing that OUR King is much more powerful than the king piece in chess). And on and on and on.

This time around I want to share a vulnerability I tend to have not only in chess, but in life in general. Like many other chess players, I study common moves you can make. I sometimes think on a move too long (or not long enough). I sometimes fail to take care of the king’s children. The largest issue as of late though is what seems like it should be the simplest issue to fix. I don’t look at the ENTIRE board 👀. I get tunnel vision, focus on a single set of moves or threats, and end up completely missing the most obvious thing that was right in front of me.

Now whether you play chess or not, you can imagine why this can be frustrating. In fact, you don’t have to imagine, because I guarantee you’ve done something similar at least once in your life. You take an ill-advised action or missed pursuing an opportunity to [insert-missed-opportunity-here] and make a ton of money 💰💰💰. Nine times out of ten you find that in hindsight, the reason you took (or missed) an opportunity was due to being solely focused on the immediate outcome or circumstances.

There have been countless times (both playing chess and the game of life) that I’ve taken (or missed) an opportunity due to fear. But God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). There have been times when I’ve sat and over analyzed. But once enough thought and facts are in place, it’s time to remember our trust is in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6). And so many times I’ve just felt I was above an action or thing due to personal pride, but that is certainly not what we should use as a guide if we consider ourselves children of the King (1 John 2:16).

What’s interesting about these life blunders, is that we are not always solely focused on a bad thing or concept. We might be using a good scripture or lesson we’ve learned to make our decision. Let’s take a simple example.

Have you ever decided not to participate in a heated argument because you know you must put away all anger and bitterness (Ephesians 4:31)? While this is following God’s word, the bible does also say we should approach our brothers and sisters about issues we have between each other (Matthew 18:15). You need to have seen (and understood) both concepts in the bible to know when and how to properly apply to your situation.

Or maybe you’ve thought to yourself it’s time to move forward. I can’t always be thinking about former things (Isaiah 43:18). What’s funny about that scripture is that a few chapters later, a somewhat opposite piece of advice is given. REMEMBER former things (Isaiah 46:9). I leave it to you to study why both scriptures are correct.

So.. What am I getting at? Well, all of this is to explain why I say (and now repeat to myself):

Look at the entire board! 👀🔎♟️.

Take in everything and remember your teaching. God is with you in every decision, ALWAYS. Maybe he is not necessarily with you playing chess, but definitely throughout life. He has several pieces in play designed for each moment you face. Choosing the right one is where our free will comes in which can be frightening, yet so exciting! Just take a time to look at the entire board, good and bad. As a person who has succeeded AND failed many times (in chess and in life), I can say with confidence again:

Look at the entire board! 👀🔎♟️.

It’ll often save you a world of trouble.