The chess board in my office is quite unique and it reminds me of my voyage to Africa so many years ago. The different pieces composed of tribal kings and queens, cheetahs and lions, witch doctors and huts distinct so as to indicate which side of the board they belong.
As I stare at the pieces a few of them are distorted; one of the kings is missing his head, a few of the warriors have broken spears and a hut has been glued back together. All of these the evidence of a well-worn chess board. My first two kids could play chess by the age of four and so when I brought this board home it was a step up from the box board from the local grocery store. Not too long after it was brought home the younger kids, toddlers at the time, began to fascinate and inadvertently “break” the pieces. In frustration the older kids and I would glue fix until one day the chieftains head couldn’t even be found and so he became and even more sinister foe…the “headless” chief. In time, however, enough pieces were broken that I brought the board up to my office where it now sits “lifeless” and shrouded in dust.
My younger two children don’t know how to play chess and while life got more complicated and a whole host of other reasons, it is also in no small part due to having chosen to save the board pieces rather than play the game. I would much rather play chess with my kids with bedraggled and broken pieces than to never play at all.
In my office there is a reminder of a trip to Africa and a reminder that it is better to play with broken pieces than never learn to play.
In my weakness He is made strong.