3-D Chess and the Christian Life
Have you ever played 3-D chess?
If you have, you can relate to how important it is to make the right moves throughout one's life as a Christian on multiple levels. How important it is to strategically and tactically make moves every day of your life between the physical or material world, our mental or emotional inner world, and the spiritual dimension or the supernatural world.
In one version of 3-D chess, players move their pieces on three different horizontal planes in the same game. The planes are stabilized by a rod that intersects and stabilizes them. The difficulty and fascination of the game of chess is multiplied three fold---at least. Before the player moves a chess piece, he or she has to survey and take into consideration all three planes.
Isn't our life the same way?
Isn't it true that everything we do affects all three planes of our life, just as one chess move on one plane, affects future moves on the other planes, and ultimately, the result of the end game, our last moments on earth and where we will spend eternity.
Moves on One Chess Plane Affects the Other Planes
Every move we make in the physical and material world affects the other dimensions. Likewise, every mental and emotional occurrence affects how we relate to the world around us, and our relationship with the supernatural and the supreme supernatural being, God. And as even scientific research has shown, our spiritual connection to the supernatural and God can positively influence our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Why is all this important?
Proficient chess players look at a chess board, especially a 3-D chess board, and see more than chess moves. They sees patterns on the board and across the planes. Very proficient chess players see patterns played out sequentially, knowing if a certain move is made, a competitor will most likely respond predictably on the board or different plane.
World-class chess players look beyond moves and patterns. They memorize hundreds of patterns and sequences, which allows them to see deep into how the match will proceed, even to the end game, when one player says "checkmate."
If you proficiently live your life, you have plans and hope things will work out if all goes according to plan. If you are very proficient in life, your planning and actions take into consideration consequences of those actions and what you need to make it happen.
Play the Game of Life Like a World-Class Chess Player
Those who play the game of life like a world-class chess player, know every action they take has ramifications for the end game of their earth-bound life and beyond, especially if they can play effectively on all three interconnected dimensions, the physical and material, the mental and emotional, and the spiritual and supernatural.
Those who believe in an almighty God who created the game and designed the board of life, and fashioned it to be played on these three interconnected planes, need to play by the rules God's has established. They need to detect the patterns in their life and those that affect the way they live, and be aware of what their competitors, the flesh, the world, and the devil, will predictably do.
"Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5)
"Skill at helping people grow spiritually, like skill at playing chess, depends on understanding and valuing differences." John Ortberg