Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)
John Ortberg is a Christian writer who sees the world in such meaningful ways. In his book, “Soul Keeping,” Ortberg describes the nature of the soul: “The soul is a little like the king on a chessboard. The king is the most limited of chess pieces; it can only move one square at a time. But if you lose the king, game over. Your soul is vulnerable because it is needy. If you meet those needs with the wrong things, game over. Or at least, game not going well.” Yet, most people spend more time caring for their teeth, than caring for their soul.
Our concern for the soul isn’t because of its neediness, but our fallenness, according to Ortberg. Our soul is the essence of who we are, in our being. This vulnerable thing we call the soul, is also profoundly powerful, giving us the ability to experience the Almighty One. Like any other living thing, it requires nurture, and needs to be fed. It can be fed potato chips or kale. Potato chips consist of alcohol, and other ingredients that rot the spiritual. Spiritual kale, is prayer, worship, and caring for others.
A good chess player understands that you must look ahead. A good chess player knows how to utilize each chess piece to her/his advantage, protecting the king, while advancing forward. Prayer, worship, and caring is the way to successfully utilize each one of the chess pieces. You have a plan, goals, and commitment, and you work them to benefit the king.
During this Advent season, as we celebrate the birth of the “King of Kings,” consider how you are nurturing your faith. Do you have a plan, goals, and the commitment necessary to be successful in nurturing your soul, and moving forward in faith? The Advent and Christmas season is a time for new beginnings. Take this time to prepare your spiritual chessboard, and prepare the pieces necessary to protect your king (your soul) and move forward toward a successful life, honoring God.