It was Queensland’s victory in the 2011-2012 Sheffield Shield season that was instrumental in Darren Lehmann cement the coaching credentials that saw him assume the role of coach of the national team when Mickey Arthur fell foul of something of a player’s revolt.
Now with Queensland’s victory in the 2017-2018 Sheffield Shield Lehmann’s tenure looks terminal, and the player’s culture that brought him into the job has expressed its full flower with poisonous results.
The question remains about whether the answer to the cultural problem will be seen in a repudiation of the notion of identifying a line in order to justify yourself by never having crossed it, or the cultivation of a sense that if there’s a line what is needed is to be as far away from it as possible.
Oddly enough in a culture that really wants to embrace the ‘I didn’t cross the line’ self-justification, the greatest crime is being caught on the wrong side of it and showing up the toxic impact of that lie.
That’s why the response to these actions has expressed more outrage than empathy. Yet the nature of the crime is so banal, so inept and doomed to failure that it invites pity rather than anger. What frame of mind thought they would get away with it, what frame of mind thought that consequences would be slight?
If your self-image is formed teetering on the edge of a line, what happens when you lose sight of where the line should be?
I know in my heart that the temptation is strong to wilfully cross lines, let alone inadvertently wander over them. Truth be told I’m a natural denizen of the other side and pretending by my identifying the line that I’m not over it.
What I need is a grace that finds me on the false side of the line and renews and restores me to the true side. A grace that rather than reinforcing my line encroaching, recreates me into someone who hates the line, and not just the crossing of it. A grace that grows me love all the space on the best side of the line rather than the false promises of the other side.
A grace that helps me know that it’s not a line that I’m talking about but a relationship with my creator, who subdues my rebellion through the death and resurrection of his son, and brings me into his family.
I always need that grace, and in Jesus, God gives it abundantly and eternally.