Recently, I have gotten back into playing chess, and watching my sister play games. As I've played and watch others play, there is something I've observed that I feel I must discuss. So, I will write about it here:
There are two types of chess-playing that matter to every player, no matter what level, age, or rank. I will define them here.
Good Chess is when a player is focusing on everything on the board, every piece in every area.
Bad Chess is when a player is focused on a single spot on the board; this usually occurs if there is an area where pieces are being attacked, or if the player has a specific strategy in mind, etc.
Now, Good Chess is not always good, and Bad Chess is not always bad. These are simply names I have chosen. Good Chess can be bad if a player is too busy focusing on the entire board, and not a single important section (if they are being attacked somewhere, for example), and Bad Chess can be bad if the player is so focused on the single spot of the board that they do not look at the pieces around them on the board.
Also, Good Chess and Bad Chess can also be good. Good Chess is good because you are noticing and taking in all the pieces around you, thus absorbing all the information possible. Bad Chess is good because you are taking in the attack or strategy that you want, and are able to avoid/defend the attack or execute your plan, and therefore you have a present plan and have good insight of what is happening at the moment, and how to respond.
The reason I bring these up is because I have been doing a awful lot of thinking over the past few weeks. And I have concluded that, as in chess, there are two ways that one can also live that matches with these play-styles. These are Living for the Moment and Living for the Eternal.
Living for the Moment mirrors Bad Chess; one is living for what is happening in front of them at the moment, responding only to what is happening right now. Living for the Eternal mirrors Good Chess; one is living for the eternal goal of heaven, of reunion with God, and therefore seeing everything on earth and putting it in ethereal perspective.
But, like with Good Chess and Bad Chess, Living for the Moment and Living for the Eternal can be both good and bad. If you only Live for the Moment, the consequences of doing action right now may be disregarded, but on the other hand, Living for the Moment also lets one focus on what is currently happening, to respond correctly with the current situation. Living for the Eternal is good because it keeps earthly things in perspective and helps one decide on what's truly important, but if one Lives only for the Eternal and does not focus on the moment, things on this earth (such as family or friends) may be disregarded for the heavenly goal.
As Christians, I believe it is important to keep a good balance of both, just as in chess it is important to focus on the current and future moves, that take place on the entire board. We must Live for the Moment for the Eternal; that is, it is important for us to live right now, and not completely disconnect with this earth, but we should also be looking at God, at our heavenly life ahead.
I'll admit, it's very easy to live only for the moment, to only live for a temporary pleasure right now. But it's important to keep our moments in perspective, and decide if it's the one we really want to live for. Dissect your moments, especially when tempted with temporary pleasure; we need to look at out moments in an eternal light.
What are your thoughts on such things? Personally, I've struggled with living for what's truly worthy of my attention: God. What about you?