Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{a game of chess.}


What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.


It's something I'm trying and failing at daily. How to give up that control (or, more accurately, that illusion of control)? How to trust that what I'm doing right now- slowly plodding along and staying the course of motherhood and medical-school-wifeliness, that is- matters? That my work is inherently good even when it feels like an utter crapstorm?

I find it amazing that sometimes, you can have your head down just doing your daily work and never noticing the beauty around you, let alone the beauty within you. Because, God is love. And love is beautiful. And so of course, if one is pursuing God's work, one is living life beautifully. God is making something beautiful with and in and through you. 

Only sometimes (a lot of the time) it doesn't feel that way. It feels like sweeping, sweeping, sweeping (x1000). Spraying the kitchen counters down only to find a trillion ants hovering around the sink. Changing a diaper bomb. Hanging by the edge of sanity, basically. 

I'm quite certain the difference between me and a saint is that I'm constantly fighting everything tooth and nail, refusing to believe that this is God's work. Thinking I can outsmart the Chess Master with the swag I bring to my game. But this life is His work, most certainly. 

The other day, I was plodding along. It was Mother's Day and of course I was fantastically happy to just be home enjoying my family... butalso, just a little bit wishing that perhaps my daughter would switch gears from being a stage 1 clinger to perhaps just a stage 2 clinger. (aka that she would let me go to the bathroom without hysterics). 

I received a text from a friend, and not a very close one. She said "Happy Mother's Day. You inspire me to be a better mother every day. I'm so lucky to know you." And my jaw may have hit the floor, because even though nothing in this game of life is really about being noticed, it felt really dang good to be recognized. And to know that, in fact, the work I'm putting into this motherhood gig matters perhaps more than I'd initially thought. I always knew that the love and only occasional grumblings I put into my daily tasks blessed my family and will hopefully result in happy, well-adjusted kids. But, I'd never even for a SECOND thought about how my actions in and out of the home could bless others in their journeys.

That *my* chess moves are just so totally inferior to the Creator's chess moves, it's laughable. Where I had thought I was doing a great job sweeping floors (but interiorly grumbling, just a bit, that there wasn't anything "more") God was using me to bless other people in a much bigger way. 

He uses all of us, and sometimes it's to wipe butts and sometimes it's to change someone's life in a major way, with words and actions. But if we're too busy strategizing our own next human move, we're missing out on God's master chess game, the one that leads to the ultimate Check Mate. 

I am not and will never ever ever be perfect, but this one lesson for me: the lesson in surrender, is one that's being pounded into me and blesses me daily as I go through this journey of being The One Who Stays Home With Small Children While Her Husband Pursues Big Huge Awesome Impressive Career Things. 

Is it possible to Trip Over Joy while trotting off to change a diaper?

We're about to find out. 


  1. I loved this post. I love your unending servant heart. I love this quote "But if we're too busy strategizing our own next human move, we're missing out on God's master chess game."

  2. What a beautiful (and true) reflection! Thanks for sharing. :)


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