The Checkerboard of Life

The Checkerboard of Life


My wife asserts that the game of checkers requires forethought, and that to be successful, moves must be progressive, complementing each other. Life is just like that, especially the Christian’s life in which God makes the moves.

“Westy,” as we called him, graduated with me in Chemistry. He was an average student with a warm personality. Unfortunately he could not secure employment in his own field. Employment was scarce in those days when Canada was drifting through the “20’s” toward the years of depression.

Years later Westy and I renewed our acquaintance. What a pleasure to recognize him behind the wicket as I stepped forward to purchase a ticket! Unable to find a position in Chemistry, he entered the services of a large railroad as ticket agent. From then through many years he arranged my reservations and routes. I too had left Chemistry and had entered the Christian ministry, and was engaged in considerable itinerant work.

Our mutual joy and interest did not rise from Westy’s helpful arrangements and my need of these, but from the strong bond of Christian brotherhood. Although the nicknames of school days stuck, these frequently gave place to the rich spiritual appelation, brother.

It was an extraordinary move that placed my chum behind a ticket wicket, but that was only one, another made him manager; still another elevated him to an executive position. By these unforeseen divine movements my companion was diverted from Chemistry and directed to railroading in which he was a success and in which he found pleasure.

In checkers the inanimate disc is impassive and, of course, irrational. In Christian life the believer in this respect remains passive, subject to divine movements. In order to be really successful and to experience the peace of Christ in his heart, he must yield to the sovereign will of God. “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him” Rom. 8:28. RSV).