Checkers. It was my life-game. Safe, familiar, and homey. I was good at it, too.
I thought, Sweet! God has put me in a game that I’m good at!
And the game was predictable. It had its rules, and I knew them. Sure, occasionally the board got bumped and spilled, but the pieces would line back up and the game would go on.
And then… bam. God changed the game.
There are still constants – like the board – remaining a grid of alternating squares – but the pieces are all different. Knights, Rooks, Bishops, Queens. The Kings stand tall and lean instead of short and round. Chess is a different world.
I begin to question all of my moves, past and future. I look down, all around, and it seems familiar and yet entirely new.
Sometimes I feel excited. I like change! Variety makes life fun and interesting! New pieces! New discoveries!
But sometimes I feel sad. I miss the old familiar double-jumps and “king-me’s.”
And then, especially late at night, I can feel overwhelmed. So many choices, decisions, and rules to learn.
I didn’t have time to play Checkers right. How am I ever going to get this new game down?
Too much allegory? Ok, how about this:
Last year, we switched jobs, school groups, doctors, friends, ministries, extra-curricular activities, and more, but the biggest change of all was with our church. (And if you know me, you know that I wouldn’t just jump churches like a squirrel jumps to a nearby branch, simply because the acorns look better.)
No, this year felt more like God picked up my checker piece, legs dangling, kicking a bit (a lot) and spilling a few (buckets of) tears, and placed it on a different game board. And now that I’ve landed, wow, I don’t quite have my bearings, and it’s all so great and mysterious and exciting, and yet a bit unsettling too.
This isn’t the first time God’s “changed the game” in my life.
- Business Busts
- Friendship Fiascoes
- Kids’ Changes and Challenges
The rules of life do have a lot of changes. It’s just that 2015 seemed like a lot-a lot, you know?
But hey, here’s to 2016!
Maybe you’ve graduated, had a baby, started a job, gotten a diagnosis, or lost something precious. How has your game board changed? Does 2016 look different than you imagined it would? Let’s chat about it.
And now – I’m off to learn the rules of chess, thankful that God is guiding my play-book.
Here’s to opening an entire closet of board games in 2016!
Lots of love, and Happy New Year!