I umpired my second little league game last night. The first was last week. Each experience was completely different.
The first game was a nail biter. It ended at a 6-6 tie because of time limitations. For me it was an incredible experience. I left feeling like I played an important part in a great game. Both teams were excited to be a part of the entire experience.
Last night was completely different. It was a bit of a blowout. I think the final score was 12 to 4 or something like that. But it was a horrid experience. I left questioning myself, the calls I made, the relationship with one particular parent. The coaches were great, but the whole experience was way more intense and much less enjoyable for everyone. Why the difference?
It had to do with how the crowd responded and involved themselves in the game. The first game, the parents were encouraging, they were understanding, they were full of grace. You could tell that they didn’t take it as seriously as the second game. They were more concerned about the experience than about the win.
In church, we can get caught up in the moment and take things really seriously. We can also forget that we help create the environment and experience for others to either enjoy the moment or leave feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate. Through our words and actions we can bring life or death, hope or despair, joy or sorrow.
Which will you do?