Safe or Out?

Safe or Out?

Posted by Kevin Harris on June 21, 2018

Today’s post comes from Radical Mentoring Executive Director Kevin Harris . . .

For the first part of my summer, I get to travel to different local baseball parks to watch my two sons play. It is a great experience for our family . . . we get to watch our boys do something they love, and we get to know the other families on the team.

One downside is watching how other parents react throughout the game . . . specifically toward the umpires. Here are a few observations . . .

  1. Strike zones are entirely arbitrary: We have yet to have a game with the same strike zone. Different umpires bring different perspectives, primarily based on their vantage point.
  2. No one agrees with the umpire: Rarely, do you thank the umpire for making the right call. If your child is at bat, you won’t like his calls. If your team is at bat, you won’t agree with him. Even when the other team bats, the ump still can’t get it right.
  3. Umpires need conviction: The best umpires are the ones who make their calls with authority and conviction. I’ve never seen an umpire ask a coach, parent, or player what they think happened on the last play or the last pitch.

At the end of the day, the umpire’s humanity gives us the ability to criticize. Because they are made of skin and bones like the rest of us, fans, players, and parents assume they have superior vision, a higher IQ, and better decision-making skills than the umps.

What about you and me? According to research, the average adult makes 35,000 decisions each day (the majority of which we make in isolation). What we eat, what we wear, what we believe, what we buy, what our children watch or listen to . . . whether or not we keep reading this post. It is pretty easy to see how the decisions add up.

When it comes to big decisions, what steps do we take to ensure we make the wise choice? Do we ask for a second opinion? Do we do hours of research? Do we filter our decisions through a personal mission statement?

Recently, I chose to back out of a speaking engagement for an organization I love. A series of family events needed my time and energy. It was a tough call, but I know I made the right decision. As I share with the men in my mentoring groups, no one else can be the father your children need or the husband your wife desires. That job belongs to you alone.

Colossians 3:15 tells us to “let the peace of Christ rule in [our] hearts.” The word ‘rule’ in this verse means “to judge.” More specifically, it translates to the Greek ‘brabeuo,’ which refers to the person who umpires athletic competitions.

So, when we can’t seem to find peace about the next big decision, we need to remember this Scripture and lean into God’s peace. No decision is too insignificant for Him. And unlike the umpires, his responses aren’t arbitrary, they are always worth agreeing with, and they always come with authority and conviction. He cares because

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