CHESS – The Importance of the King

The following is my contribution to the Oak Grove Baptist Church Newsletter for January 2021:

After more than a decade removed from playing Chess, an absolute favorite of mine growing up, my best friend pulled me back into the game. As a result, I’ve had it on my mind a lot lately, and being that I see things through the lens of my faith, it has made me look at the game a little differently.

You see, in the game, you have a variety of pieces: eight pawns, two bishops, two rooks, two knights, a queen, and a king. Each of them move a little bit differently, and inarguably, some are just more versatile than others. For instance, while you have many pawns, they only move forward and attack one space at a time, whereas the queen can move in any direction as many spaces as desired in that one direction. As a result, people place different emphasis on different pieces, and the largest part of the game involves the risk of moving pieces to capture the pieces of the other player at the risk of losing your own.

So, yes, the queen has more versatility than a pawn, but the king piece moves just like her, only one space at a time. As a result, many (including my own kids) scoff at it, thinking, “Well, what good is the king?” I’ll tell you: if you lose the king, you lose it all. Therefore, the game is about guarding that of most importance, amidst a flurry of pieces competing for space.

Similarly, people assemble in their lives so many things of importance to them. It’s amazing when you look at how different people place emphasis on different things, but in the end, we all have “our things”. For the Christian, at our core, we had better guard Christ, our King, because He is what it is all about. Sure, there may be things that seem like they’re of more pressing concern in the here and now (like how some people believe their chess victory hinges on keeping their queen), yet we need to remember this: you can win without a queen (even if it proves difficult), but if you lose the King, you’ve lost it all. Thank, Jesus, that He grants us Eternal security found only in Him; all the world is fleeting, but He is not.

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