Check Mate

I’m not a chess player and beyond what my husband attempted to teach me when I was a young bride, I know little about the rules. What I do remember as a major frustration was the fact that chess required strategic vision- the ability to think beyond the next move. It occurred to me, as I prayed for a young woman who keeps getting caught in ‘drama.’ that a lot of life is much like playing chess in this regard. How many times is the battle lost because of an unwillingness to think beyond the next move? Single Moms get angry with the ‘baby-daddy’ and react in a way that accelerates instead of diffuses the drama. She doesn’t think beyond the next move!  A young man meets a girl who stirs his passion (read this lust) and starts a relationship. He ignores the fact that she is a heavy drinker, drug abuser or that she treats him like he’s dirt. He doesn’t think beyond the next move. And though my examples use young people, those of us in the summer, autumn or winter seasons of life are not exempt. Every day things happen that require us to think beyond this moment. Scripture teaches that there is a way that seems right but at the end is the way of death (Prov. 14:12). Implicit in this scripture is the admonition to think beyond the next move.

I recently wrote, ‘Nothing I do surprises God though I’m sure much of it breaks God’s heart.’ We have the ability to stop seek God’s input so that we intentionally think beyond the now. In fact, exercising this ability is absolutely critical. There is much more at stake in life than in a game. If you blow a game of chess, you lose nothing really. However, wrong decisions rarely, if ever, impact the decision-maker alone. Every decision we make – good or poorly-informed – will impact other people, innocent by-standers who become unwitting actors in our personal dramas.

So, my friends, take a moment to think and pray before you react. Move. Counter-move. Move.


6 Responses

  1. This blog is such a blessing to me. I am currently believing God for a job in my field and sometimes it can feel a bit discouraging. The thing that ministered to me most, is when you discuss our inability to see beyond are current move. I asked myself, when He does bless you with your job, then what? I don’t want to make the mistake of only seeing as far as getting hired but I really want to make sure that I continue to seek God’s face and not allow my new schedule, new job, or new money 😉 to get in the way of me putting God first. (Matt 6:33) I definitely don’t want to get to the point where I forget that God is my source and provider and I began to look for my paycheck to be that! Cause right now I UNDERSTAND how to trust God because I’m definitely not ballin’ on my own, lol!! I don’t want to open any doors to the enemy by allowing the glorification of a dream career to cause me to neglect my relationship with God. If I don’t continue to acknowledge Him, that will just end up being all bad! (Prov. 3:6)Thank you! I gotta stop getting so anxious for God to bless me, and start thinking about how I react and respond to Him after He does! Luv ya! xoxo

  2. It’s a constant temptation – and one that I find even more evident at this point in my life – to desire and try to obtain control over my life. I try to control what happens to me now and try to plan what will happen to me in the future. While making predictions can be an effective tool in the decisions I make, I see that there is infinite value in heeding those words you offer at the end of your blog, Dr. Cox: “Take a moment to think and pray before you react.” Consulting God, allowing Him to lead me throughout my life is difficult, because my faulty side wants control, but necessary because it is in my best interest to give it to him. Prayer – it’s that Biblical echo – “Listen to him.” Moving – it’s that allusion, “Do whatever He tells you.” That’s what it is to live a life of faith.

  3. What an awesome word. Thanks Rev. LeShawn. I hope people are listening! This word is not just for the baby girls and baby boys. There are some folk in a different season of life still acting like they can do anything they are big and bad enough to do without thinking beyond the current move.

  4. Awesome and very true and relevant for now. Something jumped out at me when looking at this subject. I saw these two words: “CHECK” “MATE” and I thought it was interesting the direction the message went starting with the game of chess and then talking bout some relationship issues and I believe there was a significance in that because alot of the ‘thinking beyond the next move’ in this time is having to do with those singles who are seeking relationships. These individuals who will be “Check-ing” for their “Mate-s” need to do as you so wonderfully conveyed and that is to think beyond the next move. Babygirl and Babyboy, I know the intimacy and burning desires toward the person are raging right now and you want to for the lack of of a better phrase “get-busy” but if you think beyond that, is it worth getting a disease later in your life that is incurable by man (the woman of God stated that there is a way that SEEMS right but the end is what? death) Is that few moments of pleasure worth you sacrificing your youthful dreams and plans only to grow up so fast in taking care of a baby (which by all means is a blessing) but the blessing could have been at another God appointed time. Are you sure that He/She is the one? Will you find out years from now that you married Dr Jekyll but now that person is Mr Hyde. Be led by the God who knows the END of a thing. Check Mate!

  5. I think what you say is true. So when do we turn this around? I’m thinking God has given me a chance with my grandson. So much I didn’t know when my own children were small!

  6. Donna, this true, as you know, not just in relationships, but in life. Largely, we are all guilty of this nearsightedness, namely, being able to only see things in the immediate forefront of our lives. I believe that it is in part because we (as a society) have not placed a premium on teaching stragegic vision. We don’t teach this as a necessary surivival skill to our prodgeny.

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