I must admit that like many people in this day and age, I have a fondness for games. There are many games that can be played in this world, with a wide variety of purposes and motives. Many games, of course, have an origin in very odd pagan symbolism  and other games involve the use of lying and deception, and those are aspects of games that I find personally troublesome. There are other games that have more straightforward aims, some of them being games of chance and some of them being games without chance. I would like to spend at least some time talking about the idea of games without chance and at least trying to comment a bit on how life can imitate our games, or how certain types of games can prepare us for what we will face in life.
As a child I learned how to play chess and it made a big difference in my intellectual life and some element of my self-worth. Although I must admit that being somewhat skilled at chess is not exactly the coolest thing in the world, it was a validation of my basically cerebral approach to life and problem solving, given that the way that I played chess had a great psychological relevance to my larger life. My interest in using my pawns as defensive fortification, my cautious manner of play, and my love of knight forks and pins are all generally reflective of the way that I tend to cope with the problems of life, trying to ensure my own safety as best as possible, working cautiously but inexorably towards my goals, and using such advantages as I possess to present others with limited choices to as to simplify decision-making for myself in the midst of difficult matters.
It should be noted that chess is a game without chance. Each of the moves is open to both players with a clear end in mind, and even if it may not always be entirely evident what immediate plan someone is up to, one can gather from any move that some plan or aim is involved. I am not someone who tends to play quick games because of my focus on defense first, counterattack second, which tends to make games drag on for a long time, while most people prefer a more aggressive style that is unsuited to me temperamentally. (It should be noted that my approach to chess is similar to my approach to skiing, which is similarly cautious and pokey, as well as many other activities.)
In life, there are some elements of chance and deception (although I must admit that I am definitely a naif when it comes to being deceptive, as my commitment to openness and honesty makes it very easy for other people to see what I am up to), but there are also elements of chess and similar games without chance in life also. It is not always readily apparent in life what sort of designs and divine providence that God has, and sometimes the moves that God makes do not make sense. Likewise, in life we proceed from a position of some ignorance about the state of the board and the other players, and so chess (as complex as it is) is merely a highly oversimplified version of the sort of moves that we must make on the board of life, albeit an oversimplification that allows us to gain insight into choice and its consequence, insight with is sorely necessary.
Although I do not like to play games with other people in the fashion of pretending matters in order to achieve my own goals at the cost of the well-being of others, in life there are a lot of elements that are strategic or tactical that are so without any sort of deception. We have to balance the short-term actions that we can take in light of the long-term aims that we all should have for good for everyone involved. To be blunt, sometimes the short-term situation looks so grim that one wonders what long-term benefit could come from it, but usually there is at least some payoff, even if long in the future. I hope I may yet live to see some payoff. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to partake of his crops, after all.