by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
This past weekend my daughter and I ran a 5k in the Keizer Iris Festival before joining other families on our Crosshill float in the Iris Festival Parade. The event creates a lot of fun memories for my daughter and I. Before the race we got to pick up our neon green race shirts and our customized running bibs with our names printed on them. We saw some old friends and made some new ones as the excitement of race day brings people together around a common purpose for all ages. The real fun is to be had on the actual race course. We felt like we were on parade as we showcased our talent among the masses jockeying for their seats for the parade to follow. With the music playing loud and random people cheering you on, it’s a wonder why more people don’t run road races... and then it hits you. You finish your first mile and realize you have over two to go and the real work is about to set in. As the dedicated running buddy for my daughter, I try to encourage her and coach her to both have fun and give her best.
As we were struggling up the last rise before the long home stretch, my daughter’s will began to fade. In her mind we should have been at the finish line minutes ago, and we were simply going to be running forever. With her head down, she asked permission to walk a few steps. As we topped the final rise and she gathered her breath, I told her to lift her head and take a look. Though far off, the finish line was in clear view. Immediately her face brightened, and her body leaped back into 4th gear as she wondered why she had been walking. Over the next half-mile she had an eager, deliberate, and heightened intensity to meet her goal. At certain seasons of my life, including the end of the school year, I often reflect on Hebrews 12:1-3:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
As parents we have a finish line in mind for our children. The journey that gets us there is often filled with sounds of music and cheering. But there are untold moments when the climb feels steep and even hopeless. In those moments, these verses remind me of three things:
• There are others who have persevered through similar trials and are an encouragement to me.
• Who I am in Jesus is based less on what I do and more on how I respond to what He has already done.
• The race is long. But the finish line can be seen. My job is to simply keep running my race and leave the results to God.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent