First name: Chess

And then I met Chess.

Not the strategically calculated game, but a real person. Leaving, the shadow of a full day’s work behind him, he missed the bus and had to redirect his route. I met Chess.

He stands about 5’7, black, and looks like the cross contamination between Dwayne Johnson and Will Smith. He had a goatee that stems about half an inch below his chin and the back of his t-shirt read “Xavior” not “Savior”.

After praying for his aunt who has several illnesses that may surface a premature baby, and after praying for his struggle to live life daily, I entered the subway train feeling more hopeful for his future.

And then I met Chess more deeply. He shared to me in vague, yet understanding words about how he has experienced more in his 21 years than some people might in their fully extended life of 50+ years.

As his stop was approaching, I quickly wrote down my contact information in case he needed a friend. And then I pondered about how much God has blessed me to live secured and tightened to the possibility of the American Dream and not to the movements of bullets and broken windows. I wondered why God gave me such freedom even in the midst of genuine hardship and struggle. I felt like Chess’s life was always in the continuum of being checked while my life felt like there was room for transition from being checked to free.

And such transition came in April 2010. Most times I induced moves that put myself in bad situations; Satan was good enough to ‘check’ me at every corner of life. Only through God’s grace did He provide me a move that I had not seen so that I was not binded to Satan’s chain. However, death kept taking out God’s breath from within me; each move kept me burying my own grave until I called checkmate.

I said, “Lord, fill me with your wisdom and truth”. Give me understanding. Save me from the bondage of sin”. In one year’s time, Christ was able to renew a right spirit in me- one that pursues to hate sin and commits to His kingdom during every season.

Chess, Satan will beat you at your own game and will take away the very nature that you are- life that generates so many combinations to seek a purpose and plan, but I pray that you will ask God to make those moves for you, so that you will consummate with Him. He is the true Chess master. Learn from Him. He is life.

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