It's another soccer weekend. Fact is, it's often a soccer weekend, especially if the calendar is anywhere in the vicinity of January thru May or August thru December. Thank goodness Michael and I don't mind standing outside. We're getting better at it too. We used to show up and borrow stuff from others, but now we have our own chairs and snacks and sunscreen and hats and jackets and blankets and extra soccer ball. It like a day at the beach without sand or water. It's also a marvelous place to watch human behavior at its worst and its best.
This morning Key's team won. So that alone makes it easy to be gracious. It also made me wonder if I could muster up such goodwill if we had lost. See, the ref really preferred the other team. He particularly liked their player number 4. He particularly disliked our player number 27. So much so that it was a bit difficult to watch at times. Our player number 27 might as well have gone to sit on the bench for the entirety of the game, because if he so much as touched the ball with his feet he was called down. The other team got several goal kicks, drop kicks, penalty kicks, etc. Player four on the other team quickly learned he was well liked, and once he figured out no whistle would be blown on him, he used this knowledge to trip, push, illegally tackle, etc.
At the sidelines, parents were becoming frustrated, especially the parents of kids getting knocked down. Surprisingly, player 27's mom remained calm and positive as she stated that the ref really did not like her son. In addition to the parents were the siblings observing all of this display of human nature and absorbing lessons. I have to say, I think other than the obvious frustration of the ref's calls, the parents kept a positive attitude overall. Their coach has continued to drill into the boys other people's behavior does not give them permission to react in a way that reflects negatively on them, their team, or their league. At all times they must play fairly. If they get tripped, they get up; they do not trip back. If they get pushed down, they do not retaliate. They let their sportsmanship and their soccer skills speak for themselves. They play assertively, aggressively if needed, but always fairly. Always. Two things can get them ripped off the field - walking and bad sportsmanship.
Here's where I'm going with all this.
Jesus is not passive.
He lets His actions speak for themselves.
He turns the other cheek and moves forward.
He is fair.
And gracious - no matter the score.
Because a score is merely a circumstance. That's all. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not. But it's in the end still just a circumstance.
How we behave is merely an outward sign of what is in our hearts. And today, I saw goodness all around me.
Matthew 7:12a In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.