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Year of the Rat

The rat is actually the most powerful piece on the board. My colleague introduced me to an old Chinese game called Jungle, which looks like a cross between checkers and chess. The game features opposing armies consisting of eight different animals, ranked in ascending power from 1 to 8, with the rat at the bottom and the elephant at the top. The twist in the game however is that the only animal that can beat the elephant is the rat!

It’s a clever twist, but not unusual, nor untrue to life. Sometimes the weakest wins the game of life. Solomon in his wisdom made the observation years ago: Says he in the Book: “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong.” Not meaning that the fastest person never wins the race, but that the fastest person does not always win the race.

One place where this ‘rule of the weakest’ applies is in the Faith. Said Paul to those who boasted of their elephantine strength: “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things… and the despised things.” Like what? Like a manger. Like a cross. Like salvation being secured by having to depend upon the merits of Another. No wonder that same apostle made this conclusion: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses…. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

DM 14th January 2020

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