by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
The gym was packed and the fans for both teams were cheering with equal enthusiasm. I was intently focused on the game, not wanting to miss a single play. Then suddenly, an opposing player scooped up a loose ball and exploded down the court on a fast break. My seat on the baseline gave me a perfect view as the feet of the ball-handler clearly stepped out of bounds for 2 or 3 steps... What! No call? I was immediately enraged as my hands shot up in protest and my mouth began to open in disbelief. Fortunately, I quickly lowered my hands and closed my mouth before I embarrassed myself. After all, it was only an elementary Upward basketball game and the score was already lopsided and the volunteer officials were probably trying to give the defeated team a morale boost.
Even in one of the more easygoing settings, competition is often a catalyst for our pride to object to even mild blunders. And when the stakes are higher and the score is closer, the emotional outcry can be even more persistent. As an official administrator at our home OSAA varsity basketball contests, part of my responsibility is to encourage and maintain appropriate sportsmanship. Yet I still find it to be one of the most challenging personal exercises of self-control to practice what I am paid to preach. Often upon reflection the following day I must admit much of my (hopefully) hidden outrage was entirely misguided due to my team bias. And as a former official, I know how impossible it is to officiate a perfect game. From the players to the coaches to the fans, God often reminds me how we are all imperfect. My primary role is to simply first identify my own shortcomings and take responsibility for them.
Becoming a mature spectator honors God in so many ways. One main reason the Crosshill Christian community exists is to be a light and blessing to others. To that end, I have attempted to be more deliberate with the convenient annual interactions our community has with our public school competitors. I have been able to befriend one particular scorebook keeper from another public school over the years. I both mentally and literally take notes of our conversations so that I can commit them to prayer. Recently, her brother has been diagnosed with cancer and I have been able to encourage her and share the eternal truth of Jesus Christ with her. I pray that my actions as a fan only support the witness of my words.
As you read this, a large part of our Crosshill community will be in Baker City at the OSAA State Championships supporting the Varsity Eagles Boys Basketball team. Please pray that our light will continue to shine even on a different hill (Matt. 5:14)!