Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Harry Potter, Chess & God


I was explaining to Dh the other day that the chess games in the first book of Harry Potter remind me of human relationships with God. Harry borrows chess pieces to play with Ron over Christmas break. The pieces can talk. They argue about where they should move. They try to assert their will over the one directing the game, act like they know best, refuse to do what they are told, make their moves themselves. That is, that's what they do when they don't know the person playing the game. Ron's chess set is an old worn set that's been in his family forever. His pieces know and trust him. They submit to his direction because they know he has a plan, and he's a pretty awesome chess player.

You follow?

So, near the end of the book (and this may be considered a spoiler for those who haven't read it), Harry, Ron and Hermoine go through a series of magical "traps" to get to the sorcerer's stone and save it. One of the traps is a room with a chess game. You have to play the game and win to get through the door to the other side and to the next test. The trick is that you have to exchange places with the chess players & play your way across the board as though you are a chess piece. These are human-sized chess pieces who knock each other out, beat each other up, and try to kill each other when they capture another piece in the game. So, Harry and Hermoine put Ron in charge because he is the one who knows how to play chess. They trust him. So, Ron, the awesome chess director, places himself on the board with the players to help his friends win the game and move to the next level. He realizes at some point that one of them will have to be sacrificed in order for the game to be won. So, he offers himself, after telling Harry and Hermoine what their next moves are. Then he steps into his next moves and is knocked out cold by a laughing member of the other team.

Still following?

I think it's like that. There are those who know God and submit to the plan, the direction that God offers because they know and love and trust him so completely. And there are those who argue for their own direction, refuse to budge, play dirty and knock out everybody else. And then one day the awesome Director came down to be a chess player, one of us. And He took some blows for us. I try to live my life as one who knows this and trusts this and takes it seriously. I try to sit back and trust.........back to the re-occuring theme of Faith in my life lately. Now I have two analogies...the garden and the chess game. The thing is, the chess pieces don't try. They just do trust....because they trust the Master. They know the Master. They love the Master.

God help me to know you. So that my faith may increase.

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