Back in the day, my siblings and I would spend hours at our grandparents’ house during summer break. To keep us occupied, my grandma would encourage us to play one of the many board games kept in her closet. One of my favorites was Chaos.
The object of the game Chaos is to move your six playing pieces from one side of the board to the opposite side. The catch is that the pieces all look identical, identified by a colored ring on their underside only.
This detail leads to a game of confusion, where players lose track of the true ownership of pieces. Challenges are issued; incorrect players forfeit their turns. Joy is found in winning; pain in losing.
Board games can teach us a lot about life. If I had to pick a descriptor of life in 2018, chaos seems appropriate. Just when it feels as if we’re on a steady course, something comes to disturb the peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
God’s presence is there in the chaos, in the too-cluttered, hectic days. God is with us in the times of panic, of worry, of strife. And sometimes, in the worst moments, we feel closest to God.
As grateful as we are for our moments of sanity, of peace, perhaps we need to be equally thankful for those moments when we feel the grace and guidance of a more powerful, loving presence.
I know I am not alone in my fervent prayers for peace. Recently, I came across this verse attributed to Sir Francis Drake (although most historians doubt the English sea captain to be the true author.) In this prayer, instead of asking for all to be calm, we can ask God to never let us become so comfortable as to grow complacent in our journey.
“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.”