Chess Master

What if it’s true that each person is a unique artistic expression of the mind of God?

What if that’s what it means that we bear his image?

If that’s so I like to imagine my life as a song. I think there’s a melody to life already, we have ups and downs, chaotic times and restful seasons. And in a way, it’s very musical, triumph, disaster, failure, love. These are what it means to be human, and often what bleeds into our music.

I love the idea of co-authoring the song of my life. The freedom and the beauty of it is wildly appealing to me. I used to think that God just had a to-do list for me. That I was alive to accomplish his requirements on this earth, and that was it. But in January, I had this release of freedom wash over me. Realizing that I was free to create my own melody by choosing my life. It was this sense of freedom that enabled me to choose to want to live my life in harmony with God. Living every day in a sort of duet of plans, choices actions attitudes and motivations.

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before even one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16)

God is not limited in his plans for us, though we don’t always hit the mark of his intentions, he has infinite possibilities for us in every moment. What might it look like to live in harmony with God? If his desire is for us to love him and be loved by him if he so badly wants intimacy with us, what would it look like to consider what direction he might desire for your life? This I think is what it means for him to be LORD of our lives. To willingly surrender all that we have unto his sovereignty brings so much joy not only to him but to us as we get to experience the unfolding of his good plans.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of the names of God. How each one reveals a certain characteristic of his nature. Healer, Provider, the one who sees. Lately, I’ve been curious about seeing God as an architect. As the visionary one. The architect of our lives, and the chess master of the universe.

Though we make plans he determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

I got to experientially know this proverb. And it all started with me forgetting to have my quiet time.

 

I was on the train when I realized this. Mornings have always been a challenge, but this one was unusually chaotic.

I had overslept, waking up with barely enough time to run to the station and get to my job in the city.

There’s this app called Alarmy. For people like me who tend to oversleep; it won’t let you turn the phone off, leave the app, or mute it until you get up and take a picture of a predesignated object. It works wonderfully.

Unfortunately, I figured out how to cheat the system, snoozing the alarm indefinitely. Innovation truly does come from laziness.

I started working for UberEats as a bicycle courier to fundraise for my missions work here.

Uber doesn’t have an HQ and the whole company essentially runs through an app. It’s where I see people’s orders and confirm the pickup and dropoff. It’s also how I get paid.

But by the time I got to the city, my phone was pushing 20%, not really enough to run Uber and GoogleMaps for very long.

Like a proper homeless person. I started searching for a power point in the city, where I could charge my phone without spending a fortune. McDonald’s, KFC-nothing.

After exhausting all my plausible options, I finally remembered to pray.

I saw a vague vision of direction and thought that I would find a restaurant that would let me charge without buying a 7$ coffee.

Instead, I found a church.

I knocked until the locked door opened to two missionaries who had just finished a prayer meeting. If I hadn’t been in such a desperate situation I wouldn’t have persisted, but

Once inside I realized a number of unusual connections I had with these total strangers:

  • He had visited Colorado on a skiing trip
  • He had done a DTS
  • He lives less than a mile away from me
  • Plus, he was going on a mission’s trip to New Guinea where I had spent 12 weeks of last year.

After finding out what I was doing, he let me charge, and even contributed towards my staff fees!

A phone charge and a conversation later I was feeling incredibly blessed.

I finished working my shift with about 4% charge left and decided to head home.

But I soon discovered God had even more in store.

As I was cycling home, I passed by a homeless guy, with a wizardly beard and a scrawny frame.

Usually, I’m not so keen to talk to these types, but this time I felt my heart almost be pulled in his direction.

I stopped up the road and realized that God was prompting me to reach out to this man. So, as I started his way, I decided I would try to casually get to know him, but as I drew near I felt God say to me that his name was Joseph.

I asked him what his name was but he only eyed me suspiciously and said I had no reason to know.

He asked me what my business was, and after a few awkward exchanges I offered him some fruit I had, and he reluctantly accepted. Opening more to small talk he asked what my job was, however

I could tell he expected me to pick up and leave as his answers got shorter and shorter.

As I stood up to leave curiosity got the best of me, and I asked if his name was Joseph. He looked at me in disbelief, then with deep mistrust demanding to know who I had been talking to, and how I knew his name.

Honestly, I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say. When I tried to explain God’s heart and how I could have possibly known something so personal, he got even more frustrated and angry.

Standing up and yelling at me to get lost, he obviously wasn’t having it. I decided not to force anything, even though I knew God wanted to restore relationship with this guy who was clearly harboring anger.

As I walked away I wondered how I could have been more diplomatic, or charismatic, but I reminded myself that it was never me who was going to save him, but that God was going to, even if I may not have communicated as well as I could have.

I totally trust that God is after him and that hopefully, I got to be a part of the sowing process.

 

This craziness all happened, despite me trying to schedule my life, and I wasn’t even asking God to move through me, but I was open to it, and I desired to live my life in harmony with him. I think this is all he is really looking for, people who want to please him, and who are open and sensitive to follow his guiding.

God has so many plans for us, and so often I think I’m missing it. I don’t want to get swept into works-based mindset, but I know I don’t want to miss the adventures God has for me.

I mean, everything in your life has led you to this moment. What are you going to do with it?

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