Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Crazy Chess

One of the best free flash games I've found is Crazy Chess, which you can have for your very own by clicking here .

Enrique has posted a sermon (here, in English) on the spirituality of computer games, and he got me to thinking about how the trick of winning lots of computer games is to figure out what is important at any moment.

In Crazy Chess, for instance, you've got to capture all the relentlessly progressing pawns (using the Knight's L-move) before they get to the bottom of the board and burn down your castle. That's enough of a trick, but in the end, you just can't move fast enough if you just capture pawns. You have to also be focusing on capturing various "power up" pieces which will slow down or freeze the pawns, blow them up, repair your castle, and give you an extra life.

In my first few days of addiction to this game, I focused on the pawns and on getting good at moving that pesky knight around. Eventually, I realized that this was a loosing proposition; I'd have to also work on capturing power ups before they disappeared. This is easy early in the game; later, when the pawns just keep coming, it is surprisingly hard to change one's focus to slowing the onslaught rather than capturing pawns.

In my calm weeks of ministry, I enjoy some quiet time each day, I do a little reading unrelated to the immediate demands of preaching, I have friends, craft projects and -yes- computer games which are a relaxing part of my day, and I therefore pride myself on taking care of myself. But then comes the onslaught; the sermon that takes twice as long to write as I had hoped it would, the memorial service, the computer crash, the staff crisis; then it is surprisingly hard to shift my focus from the immediate tasks and do something that would slow down the onslaught, repair the hurt places, or clear the deck.

That's what, in particular, my daily quiet time does for me, and I've learned over the years not to bow to the false economy of pawn-fighting and skip it. It powers me up.

1 comment:

Roger Kuhrt, PhD said...

A point: "I've learned over the years not to bow to the false economy of pawn-fighting and skip it. It powers me up."

YES, Ministry (if successful) is not engaging in the pawn-fighting, but OH, so rare it is to see that early on! Bless you my sister and colleague--I feel revived with this post. confessions I guess from an old "pawn-fighter"

Cheerfully, RK