Philippians 4:6
“Do not be anxious about anything…” (NIV)

Today’s Thought
So many different things can happen in life.

I recently read about how many possible outcomes there are in the first 10 moves of a chess game. It’s a lot because of all the different directions that the chess pieces can move. Okay, ready for the answer? Here’s how many possible outcomes there are:


I didn’t even know how to verbalize that number! So, being the curious fella that I am, I plugged it into Google. This is how someone told me to say it:

One hundred sixty-nine thousand septillion, five hundred eighteen thousand sextillion, eight hundred twenty-nine thousand quintillion, one hundred thousand quadrillion, five hundred forty-four thousand trillion.

If that’s how many possible outcomes there are in the first 10 moves of a game of chess, how many MORE there must be for your life.

The reason I say this is because life can get overwhelming. When we look forward and think about all the possibilities and pathways, it can kind of intimidate our brains. Not only that but when we look backward we can think about all of our missteps. As a result we can walk around with a dark bubble cloud over our heads.

But even though there are more than one hundred sixty-nine thousand septillion possible outcomes in your life, the only outcome you need to work on is the next one.

Life is lived one move at a time.

So today, don’t be intimidated as you look to the future, and don’t be downcast as you look to the past. Instead, focus on today. Life is lived one move at a time.

And when you move based on faith (and not fear), hope (and not cynicism), and love (and not indifference), the rest of the game kind of takes care of itself.

By Matthew Ruttan

2 thoughts on “169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000

  1. Thank you Matthew for this timely reminder. As I continue to wait for a double lung transplant it is easy to lose focus on the moment of now. Life for my husband and me has been scaled to a new normal with the constant focus on the struggle to breathe and to stay healthy, strong and positive. The hope of a better future keeps us moving forward but without the reminder of living in the now with faith, hope and love life can easily dissolve into anxiety and despair.
    Thank you for reminding us of the vastness of possibilities in simple moves.


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