I have a teenage nephew named, Alek, who is a typical, quirky 15-year-old with his own brand and sense of humor of which his parents don’t often appreciate. I however, do get his humor and wit and find him quite amusing at times. Often, whenever I go visit my brother and sister-in-law’s, there is Alek begging me to play a game of chess. I used to play ever so little when I was young, but I have definitely forgotten all the tricks. With each game piece on the board moving differently, at my age, it all too confusing for me now! Alek is no dummy! He is a great one for details and the game of chess is right up his alley. He usually has me in “check-mate” in as little as 5-7 moves! Can you believe it! Usually I am completely surprised at what move he makes or what move he pulls that puts me in a tight spot. Even with him coaching me in order to make the game last, I often lose in about 10 moves. It’s quite embarrassing as a matter of fact.
As we embark on these first weeks of Lent, I think the game of chess might be a good image for us. During Lent, we seek to make the right choices, decisions, or moves in order to improve our game, our life. As in chess, just moving one piece or player affects all the rest. So it is with Lent. One decision can get us further along in our spiritual life and it also has effects across the board for us. What “chess piece” (or pieces) do you have to move that will improve your life? In Lent there are plenty of choices to make, yet the object is not to get into “check-mate.” In other words, we must do things that will truly be beneficial to us. We must try not to fail in our commitments, our prayer and the disciplines we choose to grow in the spiritual life of Christ. Some choices will improve our position (or should I say “disposition”) while others may put us in the tight spot. We must protect our relationship with the “King” (Jesus) with the help of even using the “Queen” (Mary) to help us. The Holy Spirit, of course, can tutor us if we are willing to listen to that voice of conscience inside us.
I ask that each of us look at the game pieces on your board, reflect and, decide what move you could make in order to better appreciate this wonderful season of repentance for us. As you will see in our bulletin (and our bulletin insert last week) there are plenty of ways we can do this. For example: St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Mission Review sessions, Stations of the Cross w/ Benediction, Reflections at the Regency, Parish, Lenten Reconciliation Services, Spring Bible Study gatherings, and something new we are planning called: “The Seed, the Soil and the Sower” which is prayer, music and Lenten reflection gathering put on by some of our children and adults. God has made his move, now it’s your turn! What are you going to do in the coming weeks?
Words to Live by: “Success in life comes from not holding a good hand.. but in playing a poor hand well.”