Just when I think I’ve managed to attain to a level of maturity that I’m hoping will remain constant, I find I’m not all that.
That level of maturity? It becomes a wispy cloud, blown by the wind.
This past weekend, I had the chance to watch Ethan’s soccer game. (An official soccer nana.) Which proved problematic for my fragile maturity.
Ethan’s game began well. The kids played tough; the referee allowed them margins. He called very few things, and both teams pushed hard to score.
We went up 1-0.
That was the first half.
The ref had a body double come the second half. It had to be that. This guy started calling things he’d given a pass to earlier.
When Ethan’s team was called on a penalty that had been something the other team had pulled first half and had gotten away with, Ethan’s coach became loud. And specific.
Being a Brit, even his screaming sounded cultured.
Not to the ref.
He blew his whistle, walked to the sideline, and began a conversation with the coach. Voices raised.
It led to the coach being told to leave the field.
Which was when the parents got involved.
Both teams were yelling at the ref about his injustice, his lack of consistency, his obvious blind spots.
Which was when he ordered all the parents off the field. Told us to go to Timbuktu or Canada. Out of his sight.
Those watching moved back by the trees, still grousing.
He wanted us gone.
But no one was going to leave their twelve and thirteen-year-old boys alone with that man. Or sit in their cars.
It was 90 degrees.
He called the game. Which was his prerogative. Our 1-0 score from the first half stood. We’d won.
If you can call that a win.
In all the times I’ve watched youth soccer, this was a first.
I had a few thoughts, some names concerning this man’s character. Nothing I should have said out loud.
Wait. I did say some of it out loud.
Hence, the fragile maturity.
It’s easy for me to be critical of someone when I see inconsistency in their behavior. Particularly when they’re in a role that requires them to be accurate, just or fair.
Policemen, firemen, pastors. Soccer referees.
It’s not a standard I always hold to myself. I want to be treated a certain way–with respect and honesty. Yet I find I don’t always give back what I expect to get.
Jesus had some strong words to say about this.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12a
The Golden Rule. I learned it as a kid. Most of us did.
It’s a lot easier saying it than living it. This means seeing others as important, valuable. Giving them the grace with which Jesus has lavishly blessed me. Choosing not to be selfish, but kind.
This isn’t a Peter Pan moment I relish. I need to grow in this area, and the only way that will happen is to allow Jesus to live His love and kindness through me.
It’s a choice I need to be willing to make.
Am I willing? Are you?
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