A little more about Go

A really cool thing happened the other day. Based on my article on Go, Tim Koppang wrote an accompanying piece about Go and values that are impacting his life. You really should go read it. It’s okay; I’ll be here when you get back.

Finish it? Good stuff, eh?

And it resonated deeply with me, and not because Tim chose to cite me. Rather, I appreciated the concept of limits. In his conclusion, Tim writes:

The Chinese invented Go, and I would like to think that their game reflects some of the values espoused by [Michael] Wood: cultivation of inner space and the acceptance of limits. I would also like to think that I can be happy within the confines of my own personal limitations, free from the materialistic symptoms of my unease, in pursuit of a goal that I will never quite achieve. In that pursuit, I hope for fulfillment.

This is the first week of Lent, and so my church is moving through a study of the Ten Commandments in the weeks leading up to Holy Week and Easter. For various reasons, we’re going through them backwards. So tonight, at the midweek service, Charlie spoke about the tenth commandment, which is the prohibition against coveting. He spoke about coveting being a turning away from the good life that God is giving us and rather searching for our own idea of a good life, even if it means taking our “good life” from someone else.

Coveting is fighting against the limits that God has set on my life.

After I read Tim’s article on Monday, I found myself walking up and down my street, rolling around the idea of limits. It felt so right.

The general flow of a game of Go is that, early on, the players are sketching out broad areas of territory. Over time, these boundaries are challenged and, through conflict, the true boundary lines are solidified. Finally, all that is left is the small shuffling of the final details into place, as the territories claimed by each player become apparent. We begin with dynamism and end with stasis. But not just stasis; rather, a peace. The conflict is over, and a deep accepting begins. These…yes…these are the true boundaries of our territory.

And I found myself looking around my home, my land, my neighborhood that I love so dearly. And I could see the boundaries that God has placed around me, has placed around the good life that He is giving me. And I could all the more clearly hear His call to accept this good life, to embrace what He has given, to explore further the territory He has given me.

And for the first time in a long time, I found peace.

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:6)

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2 responses to “A little more about Go

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