The Game of Chess

By Ana Borden

Growing up, my father would pull out a marble chess board – that is if a soccer game was not being televised – when Spanish priests from St. Theresa of Avila Parish would regularly visit us.

Padre Miguel, in particular, would share his childhood memories from Spain before we enjoyed tapas for dinner. This included playing chess as a child, and, sometimes, he played a game or two with us kids.

Since my oldest son has graduated to playing chess, he now shares a similar love for the game as myself. I find joy seeing him play on the same board as I did at my parents’ house.

Being someone who played quite a bit during high school, I am ecstatic to see one of my children gravitate, learn and desire to play the game even more than I do.

I marvel how my son processes moves in his head and then explains afterwards the future moves he was analyzing. The idea that he is understanding the concept of pros and cons and the effects of his or his opponent’s future moves and consequences at such a young age really captivates me.

One of the reasons I enjoy chess is that it teaches a great life lesson. We can either take a devastating move – say your queen has been captured – and still triumph with less-powerful pieces or choose to forfeit before contemplating a future move.

Much like daily life, we can either choose to move forward during hiccups or challenges and make the best of an unexpectant event or we can choose to stay stagnant and resolve to not forgive or pray or think beyond a negative experience, relationship or situation.

I find that challenges are what makes us grow and become better versions of ourselves, leading us into a better direction, having more insight and seeking God’s vision for us.

Even in defeat, we must look at each situation as a learning experience and use the skills we accomplished to move forward and become better stewards of Jesus.

What other games do your children play that teach you valuable life lessons?

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