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Soulful Sundays: Two Ways

"Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away." ~Corinthians 13.8

The game of chess may look simple at surface level--only six unique pieces that move in constrained ways on a sixty-four-squared board---but a deeper dive reveals an entire universe of possibilities. Throughout history countless grandmasters have devoted their lives to the study of the game, yet nuances and variations remain undiscovered to this day.

There are two factors that contribute to the game's complexity: 1) You are always playing against another person and 2) you are always playing against yourself. The first variable is inherently unpredictable--we never know for certain what others may do--but it is also what creates openings for victory. The only way to win in chess is to make fewer mistakes than your opponent. This is where the second variable comes in.

Playing against someone who is adept at chess is like observing a really good magic trick. You know that there is an underlying physical explanation for what is occurring, but your mind is too disoriented to figure it out. The master player is always prepared. He is always one or two steps in front. None of his moves are accidental. All of his pieces support one another. He has made his position impenetrable.

There are an infinite number of things to distract us from our goals in life. Fixating on them is akin to constantly playing defense in chess. It is a losing strategy. A better option is to proactively improve our position, even if it means sacrificing some material or psychological advantage. Just like in chess, we must fight against the instinctual appeal of taking the easy way out. We must think long term.

Instead of indulging in resentment, we could self-reflect.

Instead of blaming others, we could take ownership.

Instead of remaining in our comfort zone, we could grow.

Instead of hoarding, we could share.

Instead of hating , we could love.

Hate is easy. Love takes a lifetime of work.

There are two ways to get through life--easy now and hard later, or hard now and easy later. Only one of them will win in the end. If we focus on making ourselves better every day, then the rest will fall into place.

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