“Let ourselves be reborn, to overcome the indifference which blocks solidarity, and to leave behind the false neutrality which prevents sharing”
I used to watch parents go berserk on the sidelines of their little child’s games and wonder what trauma or gene caused their insanity. Then, I became the assistant to the assistant coach of a 1st and 2nd grade field hockey team. It isn’t as bad as the transformation in the Incredible Hulk. It is much worse. A bellowing, banshee-like howl uncontrollably comes out of my mouth as tiny girls’ eyes fill and quiet tears of terror glide down their precious cheeks. In our last game, the high school ref was missing and so our head coach asked me to fill in, a new role for me. No longer a parent on the sideline. No longer a coach. As I ran up and down the field, I was dead set on maintaining my impartiality. As the ball went out of bounds, I picked it up and handed it to a girl on our team. “Who should I hit it to?” she asked. “I can’t help you sweetheart,” I said. “I’m supposed to be neutral.” Frustrated, the little girl took the ball. “You can be neutral and just help both teams equally,” she said as she took a giant slice at the ball.
I thought about the times in life and leadership where I tell myself it is best to remain neutral or “just stay out of it.” While I may not pick a side, do I look for ways to increase the level of play across the field? As a leader, while I may be called to ref, aren’t I always called to coach? Even in the most challenging of moments described in Scripture, how often did our Lord just stay out of it? Thankfully, I have a while until I graduate from being the assistant to the assistant coach. Let’s hope in learning not to yell, I don’t learn to be silent.