Chess Game of One? It Takes 2 to Play  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , ,

I have enjoyed the game of chess since I was a kid. Not that I'm necessarily a chess wizard, but it's just a fun game and I enjoy strategic thinking. Playing chess with my wife, however, is frustrating. You see, she does not strategize in chess - she just "plays." While I'm anticipated 6 moves ahead and how she'll react and then counter-act my moves, she's taking each move as they come with the general intent of winning but not worried about knowing every move between her and victory. The result is my assumptions of "what she'll do next" is usually wrong. She's not trying to decipher my long-term strategy, and her short-term moves prove highly effective at putting a kink in my plans!

I am frequently reminded of how easily we allow ourselves to get bogged down in relational hubris that drags on our inertia without any notable gain. We play games - dropping subtle hints, reading signals, and employing a host of telepathic interpretations, often in vain. It's tiring, creates awkward impasses when theories clash with reality and we discover our gameplan was disconnected, and just doesn't yield good results. Quoting my bride again, who's known for saying, "I just don't have the energy for that kind of thing!"

Whether in business settings, ministry teams, family scenes or my own marriage - I have found tremendous success when cutting through the fog of relational chess and just asking the question, naming the pink elephant in the room and moving on. It's much more effective to invest effort and energy into the actual resolution of any situation than on the self-imposed long runway of cat-and-mouse moves.

Chess only works when 2 people are truly playing. When tied up in knots about how to win the game, consider calling a trump by not playing. Live in the present, seize what is before you and don't let the present opportunities be consumed by phantoms of what "might be."

1. What are areas you are letting games paralyze you?
2. What relationships are stalled because you won't walk out into the field and call the person out?
3. What opportunity are you forever waiting to get because you're hoping that particular person somehow "knows" you really want it?
4. What discipleship relationship is stunted because you keep dropping hints at the truth needed hoping the implications are understood instead of laying it on the line? In the gospel of Matthew it says some folks stopped asking Jesus questions because they were afraid of what His answers would be. He was pretty direct and tended to mess up the communication and faith games people insisted on playing. We could learn a lot!

This entry was posted at Wednesday, September 10, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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