I was headed to middle school and I was worried about what might happen with 7 classes and passing periods in between. I would have to ride the bus with kids I didn’t know, but I tried not to think about it. Over the summer, my mother took me to the library to get books and track my reading progress. On Friday afternoons there was a chess game.
Whenever I openly worried about school, my mother said, “Have you asked God about it?”
So, I would tell Him my worries, but it didn’t make me feel better. I sat down at the chess board, but nobody came over. The librarian was playing a 3rd grader and getting beaten badly.
Across the library, a man, probably 6 feet 4 inches tall, stood up from his chair. He was reading the newspaper and shaking his head. He wore an army surplus jacket. His gold hair went down to his waste and his beard grew in all different directions. Then he walked over.
“Chess is a game for kings,” he said to me.
All I could do was look at him with my mouth open. He smelled like my dad after football games, but stronger.
“Sir, this game is for kids; maybe you could bring your kids over?” The librarian suggested.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my own, but I never forgot how to be one.” He sat down. “My name’s God.”
The librarian’s mouth went open.
“Glad to meet you God, my name’s Andy. I’ve been worried about school lately.”
“Let’s see, you’re around middle school age.” He moved his pawn out.
“I start in 2 months.”
“Then you interested in girls?”
“Sir, really, you shouldn’t be talking to him about that.”
“It’s okay lady, I’m God.”
The librarian got up from the table and walked to the information desk. I continued to play with God.
He was good, a smart chess player, but he didn’t know how to use his horses.
“The one thing you need to know about girls, school, and becoming a man is that all of those things take time.”
“But I start school soon. I don’t have time.”
“Trust me son, you have plenty of time and I don’t say that lightly. I know how long every person has to live and you are going to live forever.”
“Okay God, checkmate, I think?”
He looked down at his king and then he looked up at me. God smiled.
Two police officers showed up and escorted him to the parking lot. Then I found my mother in the gardening section.
“You look different,” she said.
“I had a good talk with God.”
“Really? She asked.
“Yeah, middle school is going to be fine, and for that matter, the rest of my life. If I can beat God at his own game, anything is possible.”