Learning to Pivot

Learning to PivotLearning to Pivot

Trusting the Ultimate Chess Player


We don’t always know what’s going on behind the scenes in our lives.

Have you ever played chess? It’s one of those games that requires strategy, and the better you get at it the more that you think ahead when you play. I’ve heard that some of the greatest chess players in the world can think 12 to 15 moves ahead. Wow. That is some serious brain power. The whole point of it is to position the key players in the game so that the desired outcome occurs. Checkmate.

Now think back to your life. I’ve heard before that God is “playing 10-dimensional chess” behind the scenes of our lives. Meaning, He is orchestrating things and “thinking ahead” so that the desired outcome occurs. Now, we don’t always know what that desired outcome is. I think we think we know, but as we grow and mature and get closer to the heart of God that desired outcome changes, sometimes quite often. Years ago, my youth pastor told me this: “If you could see through the eyes of God you would want exactly what he wants for you.” The closer we get to God, the more our desires change to meet His, because we realize it’s what we really want. That, however, is another topic for another day.

Back to chess.

God is orchestrating the pieces and key players in our lives on a level we can’t comprehend. Using the desire that He put in us, he gives us hints and clues about which way to go and what to do. Obviously, we have free will and can choose any route we want, but ultimately we are going to go in the direction of the things we desire…and that desire comes from the ultimate chess player, the greatest strategist of all.

So why is this article titled, Learning to Pivot?

Let’s change games for a second and talk about basketball. I still remember being in practice in high school and our coach teaching us about the pivot. It’s a move that, once you’ve stopped dribbling the ball, allows you move around, to change direction without traveling. You keep one foot fixed and you can move the other anywhere you please. It opens up multiple options and allows the player to change directions, instead of being forced to choose one way.

Sometimes in life we come to a place where we have the option to pivot. One season of life comes to an end and we are forced to “stop dribbling” and change direction. We have to look for a new way to find the desired outcome. Now, if God is playing 10-dimensional chess and orchestrating things, perhaps that pivot and change of direction is orchestrated as well. Sometimes we need it in order to make any change at all.

Recently, we spoke with Bobby DeLancellotti on the podcast. He spent over 30 years of his life planting churches, traveling the world speaking, and ministering. 30 years is a long time. That experience he built over that time seemed perfect for what he was already doing. Then he made a pivot. Now Bobby is an advocate for Lifewater, a faith-based non-profit organization committed to ending the global water and sanitation crisis. It turns out all those years of experience are a perfect fit for what he’s doing now, and the perfect avenue to pursue the true desire in his heart…to see social justice. He didn’t know he would be on this path, but it was orchestrated behind the scenes, and now Bobby is living his passion. He learned to pivot, and it’s made all the difference.

So the simple lesson in all of this is to trust God when you have to pivot in life. He’s moving things behind the scenes of your life in a way that you can’t imagine. Even if you’ve made “too many mistakes”, God is still setting things up for you. Just listen to Seth Dahl’s story for a perfect example of this.

Follow the desire He has put in your heart and you will reach the desired outcome. If you get frustrated on the journey, just take a step back, lean in to the heart of God, and get clear about what it is you really desire. The closer you get to Him, the more you’ll see that His desire, His strategy for your life, is what you really want anyway. Let Him move the pieces and learn to pivot when it’s necessary.

Be uncommon,


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