I'm a Pastor.
I'm also a JV Soccer Coach.
I'm known for being a passionate, vocal, sometimes misunderstood communicator.
The truth is I know what I'm saying when I say it and there is almost always a reason.
Tonight I was a JV Soccer Pastor.
My team (comprised of sixth through tenth grade guys and one girl) had a tough game and we were missing two of our strongest players. We made some mistakes and those mistakes cost us the game but I can say without hesitance that we had a victory tonight.
Down three goals to none at the half I came to my team and asked them to remember what we talked about on the way to the game. Romans 8 tells us that we are "more than conquerors." In all we do we are working to glorify God. They responded by not allowing any more goals and coming close several times to scoring themselves.
Our team is young, inexperienced and undersized compared to most of the teams we're playing. Tonight was no exception. At one point near the end of the game, one of the opposing players was continually being illegally rough with our team. There had been no calls or warnings made by the officials so after seeing two of my players shoved quite mercilessly to the ground I was forced to come to the defense of my team.
I was loud, upset and very clear with what and who I was displeased with. I was not rude, flying off the handle or out of line. The referee disagreed. My job as coach is to teach, lead and protect my players. If the officials are failing to protect them I have an obligation to do it myself. I was rewarded with the first card I've ever received. In soccer, a yellow card is like a final warning before being "asked" to leave the game.
I'm not embarrassed by this booking. I'm not proud either. I can say though that for once, I wasn't allowing my anger to take over. I was earnestly looking out for the well being of my team. Interestingly enough, the referee also carded two of the other team's players after my card. Many of the parents in attendance were very encouraging and thankful that I stood up for their children.
So the question begs…did I honor God or dishonor God by receiving a yellow card? I'll let you chime in before I give my response. What do you think?