Peace as an Umpire
My Softball Days – Can you believe it?
When I was in elementary school, I played softball. My cleats and glove were soon replaced with bows and pom-poms when I realized softball wasn’t my sport. Still, I remember the feeling of pitching a “fastball” across the field (it wasn’t that fast) or running around the bases trying to reach home plate. It was exhilarating to see who I could strike out or how quickly I could advance to the next base. My seasonal allergies and the sandy dust of the softball field were not a good match, so this excitement faded.
Though my athletic days are long over, I think back to the person who had the final say on the field. The umpire was the one controlling the calls. It didn’t matter how well I pitched. He carried the verdict of whether it was a strike or a ball. It was up to his judgment to figure it out. I simply relied on him to make accurate calls and keep the game running smoothly.
The Role of an Umpire
The concept of an umpire ruling over the field is similar to God ruling over us. He is not a domineering force who tells us exactly what to do. We are beings who are given the capability of thinking for ourselves, carrying forth our decisions, and suffering or enjoying the implications. God is the One who has set the rules and knows how to call the game of life in order to keep everything in perfect order.
The Umpire of our Hearts
In Colossians, we are encouraged to let a particular something rule our hearts.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col. 3:14).
Comparison shouldn’t rule our hearts. Fear shouldn’t rule our hearts. The peace that only comes from believing and trusting in Christ should become the beat of our hearts.
What if the peace of Christ was truly the umpire of our soul? What if we allowed each day to be ruled by His precepts and promises? How would that change the way we interact with others, think about our own position in society, and prioritize our relationship with Him?
I know I’d be chasing peace a lot more than I am currently. In this verse, peace has two outcomes.
1. We become one body. We are united with other believers as we live as peacemakers in the world. Our Church strengthens with peace among her body. Acting as one body means valuing people, seeing each member of the body as an active contributor with individual strengths. Working together, believers represent Christ’s loving relationship to the world.
2. We become more thankful. If we are ruled by peace, we start to recognize all of the glorious deeds that God has already done on our behalf. He allows us to wake up each day with a breath from Him. He sustains our bodies with working organs. He introduces people into our lives at the right time, people who make life more bearable and more entertaining. All of these are deeds that affect the here and now, but His best deed was sending His Son to die on our behalf so that we might experience peace in the here and now AND forevermore.
Peace in Christ makes for a much better umpire than the dad volunteering during my softball days. Let’s be honest. Christ never messes up. He never makes the wrong call.
Help peace in You to be the umpire of my soul. It’s easy with the rushed nature of life to be caught up in the stress or worries or gossip. I want my heart to be ruled by peace. I want to be thankful in the season I’m in now rather than panic for the season to change. I know that if peace is the umpire of my soul, I will value people more and become more thankful. These are outcomes that are worth it. Today, when I’m feeling anxious, help me to look to You for peace instead of comforts that will fail like watching TV or scrolling through my phone. I want the peace of Your saving grace to rule my heart.