I previously posted this on ForwardLeadership but wanted to share it here as well.
Recently while sitting in the waiting room at my kid’s dentist I played a game of Tic-Tac-Toe with my son Branson. It was a wooden set they had in the waiting area and the size of the board and colors of the X’s and O’s made it a little confusing at first, but we figured it out.
(Just as an aside. It’s almost impossible for me to play Tic-Tac-Toe without hearing the words in my head “Whoopi Goldberg in the center square for the block.” Some of you may get that.)
The first 2 games ended in a draw with no one winning. The third game though was different. Branson started with a different opening move and while I was sincerely trying, it became obvious to me that he was going to win the game…but Branson didn’t see it yet. We continued to play the game out over the next few moves and after Branson played his last piece he had won…but he still didn’t see it. I played my last piece and waited.
Branson looked up and said, “good game.” Because I know the way he is wired I knew that if he were aware that he’d won his reaction would have been much different. So I told him to look at the board again. He did…and he finally saw it. He looked up at me with a mixture of joy, surprise and pride and said “I won. I beat you.”
It turns out that he was trying to win in another part of the board and hadn’t seen the events play out to give him the win.
I immediately had this thought, “I wonder how many times I’m trying to execute my game plan and end up disappointed when it doesn’t turn out like I thought, while being oblivious to the fact that I’ve already won?”
I don’t want to over spiritualize a child’s game, except that I wonder if it in anyway connects to the childlike faith Jesus referred to in the Gospels.
Many times I get mad when my plans don’t work out like I thought, but it could be that the Father is watching the plan unfold in a completely different way…and I still win.
Just because your plan didn’t work doesn’t mean things didn’t work out.
It could be that you just need to “look at the board again” while your Father waits for you to see what He’s seen all along.