Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't Miss the Point

John 5 tells us the story of a man who had been sick and unable to walk for 38 years.  Jesus asked him "Wilt thou be made whole?"  The man replied, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me."  Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."  
The man was so focused on the water of the pool which God had used to heal people before, that he had lost sight of who the Healer is.  The water didn't heal, God did.  But when God stood right in front of the man and asked if he wanted to be healed, all the man could think of was the water.  

The man had hardly picked up his bed and started walking when some Pharisees (religious teachers) met him and asked what he was doing violating the law by working (carrying his bed) on the Sabbath day.  Couldn't they realize how wonderful it is that this man was walking and carrying his bed for the first time in nearly forty years!  They too missed the point.


In the chess game above which I used as a demonstration at a chess camp, white just moved his rook to pin the black knight, thinking he would win a piece.  He overlooked that black has a greater threat (mate in 3).  Distracted by a "free" knight, he missed the most important point (keeping his king from being checkmated). 

Often we too are so distracted by the little things that we miss out on the most important things in life.  Sometimes we let the loss or gain of a pawn worry us so much that we miss a checkmate.  Don't fret about the little things.  Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions." 

Jesus also said, "What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world but lost his own soul."  Just think, what good would it do you if you jumped your opponent's queen and got all his pawns for free if  your king got checkmated in the process?  Your opponent would be applauded for his brilliant queen sacrifice and onlookers would tell you greed doesn't pay off.  

Faith in Jesus is the most important thing in life; don't let anything distract you from your heavenly calling.  Don't let ostensible answers and solutions keep you from reasoning to the heart of the matter in politics or business, and don't let free pieces distract you from checkmates.  Don't miss the point!

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