by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
Just about everyone has a favorite season of the year. For those who prefer autumn above all others, there was much concern that we might miss out with that season altogether this year. But finally it has arrived. As the days become shorter, the leaves turn colors, and the thermometer begins to drop, I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die...
a time to plant and a time to uproot...
a time to weep and a time to laugh...
a time to mourn and a time to dance...”
The majority of the seasons in our lives are intended to experience in community. The glorious act of creation described in the book of Genesis was completed in community by the triune God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). He created us to not only commune with Him, but to have community with one another. We are often drawn to one another for the benefit of a common purpose, or especially for a reason to celebrate.
It is equally if not more important to support one another in times of sadness. This past week at a varsity soccer match in the Portland area, a member of our community suddenly passed away. The father of CCS Board Member Brian Spaulding transitioned from celebrating a goal scored by his grandson to an eternal celebration with the King of Kings. We are comforted by Larry’s presence in the heavenly places, but mourn the absence of his human presence among those loved by him.
In God’s perfect providence, Larry’s passing only accentuated his legacy of humble support for community. Players from both teams quickly transitioned from opponents to united brothers in Christ. Parents from both schools selflessly provided support where needed. From the field to the parking lot to the playground, sons and daughters of our Glorious King expressed and experienced His love as a piece of our reality briefly intersected with the eternal.
Throughout the week, CCS students and teachers have often gathered to pray for the Spaulding family and their 3 high school children. As we each consider the sorrow connected to losing a loved one, we also reconsider the love we have for those we are blessed to see each and every day. The perfect life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ overcame spiritual death providing eternal life with HIm. Until we join Larry once again in everlasting joy, may we each embrace each season God brings our way. A few months ago I was given a generous gift card to one of my favorite restaurants where I always order a “Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Bowl.” I quickly scheduled a couple of long overdue lunch appointments at a nearby location (my treat!) As I walked up to pay after my first lunch meeting, I was made aware that my gift card was not valid at that particular chain location. My hospitality of paying for the entire check just got REAL. I was required to exercise true unselfishness as I handed over cold hard cash in an unexpected way. My half-hearted sacrifice continued a 2 days later at my next lunch meeting already scheduled at that same location (my treat).
A few weeks later, I strategically planned some family errands to Keizer Station around a rare family dinner eating out (my treat!). As I proudly approached the cash register to experience the blessing of that same gift card, I was informed that my gift card was not valid at that location either. The expression on my face was a mixture of surprise, denial, and disgust. A moment of true humility came a second later as my wife gently directed my attention to the clear address on the gift card of the one location it was valid for. I was clearly to blame for not properly exercising the gift card, as the instructions had always been in plain sight.
Over a billion dollars worth of gift cards go unused each year. While that makes me feel a little better, I doubt that statistic makes the giver of those gift cards feel any better. In James 1:17, we read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Everything that is good in our lives comes directly from God, the source of all good gifts. How many of those gifts have we failed to exercise rightly because we don’t read the instructions? God’s word is full of guidance in how to daily enjoy and serve others with the many gifts He has given us.
Recently, with great pomp and circumstance, I enjoyed a “Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Bowl” with my wife making full use of the gift card that had generously been given to me. This lesson has helped me to consider other gifts that I might find in my wallet, daily schedule, or constant decisions that need a little more attention to detail. May each of us not contribute to leaving “billions” of God’s gifts unused properly.
– Adam Kronberger / Head of School