The Student Has Become the Master
Recently, my father and step-mother came for a visit. We enjoyed seven days of catching up and making new memories. However, my favorite moment of the week came when my father sat down to play a game of chess with my eleven-year-old, Peyton.
Over the past few months, Peyton has not just learned to play chess, but discovered that he has a talent for it and truly enjoys the mental challenge it provides. He and I have played a handful of games together and I have seen him steadily improve. He also participated in a chess club at school that helped take his game to a new level. When Peyton learned that his Granddaddy was coming for a visit, he began to eagerly anticipate getting to show off his new found skill.
And so it happened that late Saturday afternoon, Peyton set up the chess board at the kitchen table and called his grandfather over for a game. Eager to see the outcome, I sat down on the couch and watched from a distance.
I need to quickly pause here and tell you a couple of important pieces of information about my father. First, he's a bit of a know-it-all. I say this with love, but it's true. He's a very smart guy and he loves learning new things, but he also enjoys telling others about the things he knows. Second, he's no chess Grand Master. In fact, it's been a long time since he's played the game. However, due to the first thing I told you about him, he decided to spend time studying some chess strategy in preparation for his big game with Peyton.
Before the first piece was moved, I heard my father say to his eldest grandson, "Let me give you a few quick tips." What ensued what a 15-minute lecture on chess tactics. I sat on the couch thinking, Dad, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into. The game finally began and I struggled to contain a laugh when less than ten minutes later I heard Peyton say "Check Mate!" It might be awhile before my dad finds the courage to challenge Peyton to another game.
I'm giving my father a bit of a hard time, but the truth is the apple didn't fall very far from the tree. On more than one occasion, I have found myself becoming a little too confident in the things I think I know and a little too eager to put my wisdom on display. Sometimes, we all need those humbling defeats to warn us against leaning too much on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)
Let us be ones who follow the command of Scripture that says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time." (1 Peter 5:6) I believe that regularly admitting to ourselves and to God how little we know and just how much we need Him, puts us in a wonderful place where God can pour His wisdom into us.
So the next time you find yourself admiring your knowledge or skills, don't be surprised when God sends your grandchild along to teach you a lesson!
P.S. - Peyton finally beat me in a game of Chess about six weeks ago and I haven't played him since.