In 1997, a team of IBM engineers designed and developed Deep Blue, the computer that outmaneuvered chess grand master Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue was equipped with 32 processing engines that could calculate 200 million chess moves per second. This made news because no human being was the equal of Mr. Kasparov. He was the ultimate “grand master,” the greatest chess player since the days of Bobby Fisher and Boris Spaskey.
200 million moves per second? I don’t know about you, but I am comfortable with up to about two options. Give me true/false, right/left, or vanilla/chocolate – not 200 million options. I might struggle with that.
I’m an old chess player. That was my main sport in high school (followed closely by putt-putt). I was the undefeated champion of the Sharpstown High School chess club. I went on to win the Houston Open. (Okay, they didn’t call it that, but I did win the tournament that included all chess club champions from 16 Houston high schools.) I was so forward-thinking that I carried a magnetic chess set to school with me each day – before that was considered cool. Nothing is more of a babe magnet than a quick game of chess during lunch in the high school cafeteria.
I was a good chess player. But I was no Garry Kasparov. I was no grand master. And I was certainly no Deep Blue. I could plan four or five moves in advance. But 200 million?
The Grand Master sees the whole board. And he stays several moves ahead. As the Grand Master, he sees what we don’t see. He makes moves that don’t make sense to the rest of us at the time. He may even be willing to take some losses (a bishop or a knight) in order to win the game at the end.
The most liberating thing I’ve learned in life is that I’m not the Grand Master. I’m not even the king or queen, bishop or rook. I’m just one pawn on God’s chessboard. Wherever he moves me, I am happy to go. As a pawn, I don’t talk back. I accept whatever move my Grand Master chooses.
In a few days, millions of Americans will go to the polls. More importantly, tonight, you will tuck your kids into bed. Life is full of decisions: large or small, chocolate or vanilla, fries or onion rings . . . Trump or Clinton. Lots of choices to be made, for sure!
So why not trust the Grand Master with your next move?
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, I will set you high, and blessing will come on you” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).