Chess is a game that I love.
It is a fascinating game that gets you thinking. Every move you do counts, from the very start of the game to your opening. But, to play chess, you must first know and understand, at the very least, the basics - what the pieces can do and what the purpose is.
For some time you might be stuck there, and it may even be hard and get boring. You then might stop playing, but you wouldn’t progress if you don't play again.
But after that, if you keep playing, and learning from different sources, you'll start to learn the opening moves (how to open), or the checkmate to avoid getting mated. Repeatedly playing would improve your skills, and, in most circumstances, as you play more and more chess you will naturally get better at it and enjoy it; being able to predict, and learning how to counter things, thus understanding it even more.
It is so interesting how every single game is different to the other, but they all have one goal, and they all share the same principles - such as the pieces are always the same and start the same, but they will always end differently.
Chess needs a strategy to win. You may be thinking, “Where is this going?”
Personally, how I view it, is that these principles apply to everything, even our lives. You may be wondering, “How does learning chess and getting better at it have to do with me and my life?” Well…..
If you really think about it, the fact that “you must know and understand the basics - what the pieces can do and what the purpose is - before you start playing, is relevant to all things in life.
To do things correctly, you must be able to first understand the basics and learn.
As a baby you would learn to suck, then to bite, then to chew. Everything occurs gradually. Similarly, we would learn the fundamental skills in movements, starting from moving our legs, our arms, then starting to crawl. Just like how “playing more and more chess means you will naturally get better at it and enjoy it more”, a child who walks more, will soon get jogging, to running, to skipping and so on. As we grow older we will improve these skills and we will start to play sports, exercise and get moving.
One thing at a time, but the more you do it, the better you get at it, and getting better naturally means enjoying it more. Such as talking - when you were younger, I bet you couldn’t talk as well as you do now, but naturally you got better, from the amount of times you talked and the books you read. Everything contributed to it.
How I view it, our Christian life is quite similar. You may be thinking “what in the world...” but before you complain, hear me out. You may have never thought of it in this way, but that is why I'm currently bringing it up as a new perspective.
As a new Christian, you would first learn why being a Christian is so important, and what the end goal is. But after that, you might get stuck, or you might have spiritual dryness and stop growing in faith, and that is where the Bible comes in.
The Bible is so, so, important.
In chess, it is like slowly learning what the chess pieces are - essential and crucial to the whole game, but in this case, it is for our whole life. It may be hard and boring, and seem so long and non-understandable. You may feel like you could be more effective in doing other things, but with persistence, you will slowly, very slowly, grow.
Grow in knowledge, in faith, in wisdom, everything. As time passes, and the more you read and meditate on the Scripture, the more equipped you are, against sin and against this world. The more you can “predict” the temptations, the more you will be able to “deal” with them.
Our life has a single goal, just as chess has a single goal, but to win or to succeed you must have a strategy. To do that, you must understand fully and completely what this life is about; our purpose but from a Christian perspective. To do that, you need to read the Bible.
Without reading the Bible, living life is like playing chess without knowing what the pieces do - will it not be extremely difficult and nearly impossible to do?
That is how important the Bible is for us Christians.