Sunday, March 16, 2014

Following the Rules

"we have an Advocate"
1 John 2:1

Interesting scenario at my girl's volleyball tournament today.  Something completely new to us, and most of the other parents, too.

It was early in the girls' second match.  We had missed the first one because my son's baseball game went into extra innings, so we had barely arrived and settled into our seats as the match began.

And then, just a couple of plays later, the match stopped.  Our girls, at the instruction of their coach, lined up on the service line as he filed an official protest on the game.

I'm not entirely sure what had led up to this, but the reason seemed to have to do with several bad calls in a row, including in the first match.  I did see one call, which was out-of-bounds, even though the line judge called it in.  The ref ignored her completely, and made the call himself, I guess.

So our girls stood and waited next to their coach, and the other team stood and waited, and the parents sat and waited, while the referee made a phone call to his superior to find out what to do.  A few minutes later, the supervisor appeared on scene to iron the whole thing out.

Eventually the situation was resolved by simply replacing that ref with another one, but the whole thing got me to thinking.

First of all, I was grateful to God for the coach we have.  I didn't know what was going on today, but I trusted him.  I know that he knows volleyball, and I know that he's got our girls' backs.  He's not a hothead, by any stretch of the imagination, so I could trust that he must have felt strongly that it was in the girls' best interest to make a stand.

But I was also very aware of role of referees in our lives ~ judges, if you will.  I mean, we are going to have to abide by rules, in a lot of areas of our lives:  traffic rules, company rules, and yes, the rules of the game.  But how a judge interprets those rules can change everything.  And we can be at their mercy, if they are unfair, or even wrong in how they apply their judgement.

The Bible tells us that He is our Judge, and our Mediator, too.  I'm grateful that He is completely worthy of our trust, and that He can only be fair.  He is justice and mercy and wisdom, and He is always with us.  And we need Him.  The errors in judgement are ours, and they are frequent, but He is forgiving and understanding, and I find a great deal of peace in that knowledge.

~ "if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, 
  Jesus Christ the righteous." ~
1 John 2:1

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