By Dan DiFolco
Knowing how to operate in high pressure situations is a skill of any great sport official. Even more so, referees who thrive in chaos and remain steadfast are arguably the best ones.
Like our faith, it’s easy for anyone to live out the likes of 2 Peter 1:5-7 when all is well, when all is under control. Seems like ICs and misapplication of rules never really affect much in scrimmages or exhibitions. But what about when things are on the line? More so what happens to us when chaos comes and pressure is all around us?
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. - 2 Peter 1:5-7
I’m writing this to you because we face a time full of chaos and pressure in our faith. 365 times in the Bible, our God reminds us not to fear. But that’s not very easy to do when pandemic is breathing down your neck or a situation you’ve never ever prepared for occurs. Right now loved ones are being affected, lives are being completely disrupted and even the economic impact is becoming detrimental to some.
I’m writing to you because, like any good referee, a great woman or man of faith is experienced. They have seen it all and faced it head-on, like it or not. A great referee remains steadfast to his or her training in times of great unknown and pressure. It is so with you man and woman of faith. It is now that we examine the likes of 2 Peter 1:5-7 and grow in our faith.
Athletes, coaches, and referees know so well what process means to growth. What does this moment in our history reveal about where you are in the process described by Peter?
But more so a referee who is respected by athletes, coaches, assignees and partners alike is one they know is unshakable and the same night in night out no matter the matchup. He or she remains calm and in control to the entire game, even in the single sporadic moment that could cause us to lose our credibility to each and every coach, player or partner.
So let me ask you: Why do we need referees for sport? The answer for me is the same as why we need Jesus for life. We need peace.
We need a calm to the storm our lives continually face, whether it’s due to our own accord or not. We needed Jesus because if the game went on the way it was going, it would have led all of humanity into complete and utter disaster. Cheating, physicality, chaos would have overthrown us at all into a deep dark pit.
In this moment in which all who share the faith in Jesus -player, coach, referee; black, white, brown; heterosexual or LBGTQ- we are more than ever responsible for one thing, and that is helping to bring peace as apprentices of Jesus.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness." - James 3:17-18
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Children of God." - Matthew 5:9
There is nothing we should desire more than to be identified at the end as a child of God.
It is good to be aware for your self in this time, and do your part. But we are called into service beyond that, to care for our loved ones. We are here to be the help to the hungry and thirsty, to the stranger, and the orphans and widows (Matthew 25:31-46).
Please be encouraged and warned that the scrimmages and the easygoing controlled settings are not what will be remembered, rather the instances in which the peace and love of Jesus is needed the most.
Love You All and Peace Be With You All.
For His Kingdom,