I was loud. I’ve a voice that carries quite well. Six kids gave me ample opportunity to learn to project.
This wasn’t a response to my kids. Or the grands.
I was at a soccer game.
Sydney’s team is a bit of a mix. There are gals who love the game and want to be there. And those who aren’t that committed to games and practices in 90 degree weather and the need to embrace sweat and dirt.
They were playing at a dustbowl of a field. We’ve not had rain in a long while, so the grass was brown and spiky. Dirt made up most of the pitch.
It was 93 degrees on the field. And there were no linesmen to help the center ref.
No one to help him know when someone was offside. A crucial rule in soccer because not abiding by it can lead to wrong goals.
I stood a ways down the field, by our goal because Syd plays defense. Two friends–moms of players–were with me. Time and again we saw girls from the other team offside. Which we all griped about. But it didn’t crescendo till the other team scored from that wrong position.
I screamed. “It was offside! You’ve gotta call the game fairly!”
He didn’t appreciate my comments. Granted, I wasn’t the only one yelling. The other moms joined me–we made quite a scene. One walked to the edge of the field for a few words, which pushed the ref over the edge. He told her she could leave. She did. She’d had it with the injustice of the situation.
I was hot under the collar–heat and anger do that. My response was to complain and gripe to those gals–an attitude they joined in with grand emotion.
We lost, 3-1. Could have won. So I complained to my girls, who were coaching the team.
Debbie didn’t let me get away with it.
“You know he’s been out here for several games. It’s not his fault he wasn’t assigned linesmen. He hasn’t had any today. And he did well to keep up with the game as he much as he did. You do realize how hot it is, Mom. Right?”
Facts I wasn’t aware of. Details I didn’t consider.
It’s so easy to judge others when appearances rankle my sense of justice. When I feel like my assessment is correct. So I make a statement that is not reflective of all the facts.
We live in a world full of judgement and criticism. I don’t like to be on the receiving end of someone’s incorrect perception. But I’m quite willing to toss my two bits into a conversation if I sense wrongdoing.
Speaking without thinking.
Jesus reminds me that judging others doesn’t help if I don’t first figure out my issues. If I don’t see the areas of my life where I’m found wanting. Often where I’m critical of others is an issue in my life.
I said I wanted justice. What I wanted was for Syd’s team to win.
Jesus is working on my critical spirit.
If I’d actually think before I opened my mouth, it’d be even better.