“How big a
chessboard must there be… For hands too large for me to see.”
In the early 1980’s
I was privileged to be hired as communications consultant by Janna
Cosby to AT&T then approaching divestiture. As an admirer of
Alexander Graham Bell, collector of late nineteenth and early 20th
century technology devices, and fan of the telephone company,
consulting for AT&T as a young man was an amazing experience.
I had the privilege of meeting the Vice President of the AT&T
Midwest Region, Ken McCleary, working with him and those directly
reporting to him. He was greatly admired and I often wondered what
it was like to command such huge responsibility over one of the
largest corporations in the world.
I’d try to imagine what was in Ken's head dealing with hundreds of
thousands of employees, and all of the technology required to
reliably deliver service to millions of customers. I thought his
head must have been exploding with overload considering his great
responsibility for so many people.
As I got to know his staff members, I often heard them refer to Ken
as a great “simplifier”. I’d never heard that term before. I always
figured the guy in charge must know every single detail about the
operation from the bottom to the top.
Then I realized that the guy at the top with responsibility over the
entire operation deals with big picture perspective. Thus
“simplifier” meant he was uniquely able to "simplify" his thoughts,
though weighty, so that he could manage the big picture he was
The assembly line worker deals with part by part unit by unit. Guy
at the top deals with moving way bigger chess pieces… each chess
piece placement puts billions of dollars at risk affecting millions
of customers, shareholders, and soon post divestiture competitive
advantages in play.
To greater or lesser degree, depending on our position in life, free
will permits our hand to move the chess pieces. We are free. We make
choices. Some good some bad depending upon knowledge and wisdom and
we deal with the results. Hopefully we live to regret the bad
choices, enjoy the good choices, and learn to be better at life in
the process throughout time.
You have people at the bottom of the pyramid structure people at the
top, and people in between. People at the bottom have small chess
pieces and people at the top have huge chess pieces. At the bottom
we deal with stuff like how to eat to live another day. People at
the top deal with how to provide service to millions of customers,
employment for hundreds of thousands, and profits to investors.
Thus the profound appreciation for “the simplifier” at the top. No
small task. Difficult for that person to parse the minutiae of those
at the bottom but huge responsibility to keep the entire
organization effective and profitable.
So I thought about God. He’s at the top of the pyramid. His chess
pieces are huge beyond measure. Not only is He aware of His chess
pieces, He’s aware of YOUR chess pieces. Every move on the big or
little board is within His view and He knows the outcome of every
move we make.
Think about God’s task list.
1. I AM
2. Deal with
Lucifer aka Satan. Relegate Satan post Heavenly rebellion to planet
earth. Note to self… create universe and planet earth.
3. Speak and make
creation. (keep in mind that chronology doesn’t apply to God. He is
Alpha and Omega… beginning and end simultaneously)
4. Form Adam from dust of the earth and make him a living being in
realm of time for witness and jury duty.
5. Separate Eve from Adam (make her awesome) to populate earth to
get back at Satan for wasting 1/3 of Heavenly host.
6. Sacrifice Son and raise back to life. (BTW: Before foundation of
7. Make presence known on Earth and be patient… very very patient.
8. Keep plan secret so Satan thinks he got away with killing God but
reveal to Paul after Son dies and returns to heaven.
9. Speak to those who hear you all the above and be sure they tell
everybody and get it in writing.
10. Continue patience.
11. Send Son back in time to fetch everyone who loves Me.
12. Come back later, totally annihilate Satan, and seal up the
basement so everyone gets back to heaven where we belong.