Before the Cricket each Saturday there is a siblings match on the sidelines run by Dad. Its a fun game where First ball grace exists and batsmen are given chances according to their perceived skills and ability. Everyone has fun and sometimes the umpire is biased, but no one questions his calls because though Hes the the Umpire he is also a player in the game. Some say its fun when Dad plays.
On the Under 9 cricket ground it is a far more serious affair. The umpires are bound by the laws of cricket and can score but never play.
On to such a field my Captain son strolled with the game poised. He still did not have a batting average having never gone out in Under 9 cricket. He was determined to run every run on offer. Speed was his strength, yet today it would seem perhaps as in life his greatest strength would become a weakness. He stuck the ball called for a run and His fellow batsman hesitated. He was too far gone to turn back and the other batsmen was run out. The over up He had to face again. His friend who never before had been afforded the chance to bat, due to the strength of the team was at the other side. The bowler ran , my Son struck the ball well and called for the run. His friend tripped righted himself but found himself run out by the time he reached the other side. Oh the utter devastation having waited so long for a chance to bat, and not even getting to face a single ball. My son knowing full well the situation apologized to his friend and set off to square leg umpire with one focus in mind. He told the umpire that He would go out and his friend would stay in as this was His friends first turn ever batting in the match. Of course the umpire acknowledged his sportsmanship but told him it could not be so. His friend must depart and he was forced to stay on the field.He hugged his friend perplexed that the umpire could be so unreasonable. He proceeded to run another friend out. And then in frustration holed out in the deep trying to hit a six as running wasn’t working.
As he walked towards his Dad on the side. He dismissed any consolation or advice saying he hit the ball in the air on purpose cause he had another good friend who was 11th batsmen and needed a chance to bat.
And so it was 8 runs needed 6 balls to go and one wicket standing. But those tail enders put it together. A four off the last ball of the match sealed victory. Another win for the coach and captain. But smiles all round couldn’t hide the searching questions
1) Why couldnt the umpire just let me go out and give my friend a turn?
2) Will my friends ever forgive me for running them out?
Personally I think they are good questions.
I am thankful for a God who invented grace and is not bound by the rules. He is a player in the game. And sometimes knowing our dream our ability and the pressure we under. Instead of saying you out for a duck. He says first ball grace. Or I see your heart what you did was wrong, but lets give the boy another turn.
As for forgiveness. There is abundance and who worries about small mistakes when we celebrating team VICTORY
Its about more than we can see. Yip I guess its just not cricket!