Listen to the third man

Sometimes, a day seems like a chess match. You versus the day. Or maybe better, you versus the devil. He is someone much more skilled than you at this game. A superior thinker and strategist, smarter in every way. As hard as you play the game, as hard as you think, you’re always behind. You can’t think ahead as well as he can. You make dumb moves. Your pieces thin out on the board, or, perhaps, they stay and you’re lulled into a false sense of security as he lures you into his trap. And a chilling “checkmate” rings in your ears before you know it. You’ve been had. You tried, but it wasn’t good enough. You sit there mouth agape, dumbfounded, as this devilish dude laughs and scorns you in wicked delight. Checkmate.

But you know how when a master and a rookie play chess, there’s often some third guy watching it? He’s kind of an adviser to the rookie, an older, kinder master bent on helping the rookie, much to the chagrin of the other master-player. If the rookie listens to his adviser more often than not, he’ll win.

I think God is a lot like that Master Adviser. He knows. You don’t. He (literally) wrote the book on how to do it. He tells you how to play the day. He makes clear what are the dumb moves and what are the right moves. He cares deeply about you and you being victorious in this game. If you listen to what he says, you’ll win. If you ignore his advise, or drown it out by the loud droning of your own feeble ideas, you’ll lose.

This analogy isn’t perfect, but for sure I’ve been losing one game too many. It’s about time for me to  become a better listener to the third man. How about you?



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