by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
As I was resting inside this past weekend after completing some outdoor projects, I found myself wishing that football season had arrived. In the fall, I enjoy budgeting a small amount of time watching football over the weekend. My current memories of this past football season include lackluster performances by my OSU Beavers, and a frustrating loss by the Seattle Seahawks as the season came to an end. Those who watched Super Bowl XLIX will remember how Seattle nearly completed a game-winning drive at the end of the game, only to have a questionable play-call result in an interception. Winning the Super Bowl the previous year does little to soften the blow, as the desire to win is never satisfied.
Students and teachers have focused on the following nine character traits this school year: dependability, thoroughness, determination, stewardship, availability, deference, persuasiveness, compassion, and wisdom. These traits have provided practical opportunities to identify the fallen nature of humans and the contrary daily choices that more clearly reflect God's character. As the school desires to motivate students to follow Jesus with their entire heart, understanding His character and choosing to reflect it is part of the process.
It is important for parents and students alike to understand that we will ultimately fail in our ability to reflect His character consistently. Character is never permanently developed, as each day requires a new level of conviction and demonstration. We wish that failure were not an option, but it is a frequent reality. But this reality should motivate a crucial response. As C.S. Lewis writes, “All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, ‘You must do this. I can’t.’” God has created His children in His image and intends for us to relate to Him in many ways. But in those times that we fail of our own effort, that is when faith can be grown.
Whether it is athletics, sibling rivalry, or a speech meet, competition has the benefit of motivating and often bringing out the best in somebody. The desire to win a Super Bowl trophy often motivates NFL teams and players to achieve their best. But even at or near our best, we can’t always win. And no matter how hard we try, our own personal character will often miss the mark of God’s true character. Once again, this realization can bear much fruit. C.S. Lewis continues, “... the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God.”
The apostle Paul was the first to understand and apply this paradox. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12b-13). Since we are a new creation in Christ, we should make every attempt to act like it. And in our shortcomings, we should increase our trust and dependency on Him. This summer will no doubt provide ample opportunity to instill Godly character in our children. I pray we also guide them to the image of perfect character. A life fully surrendered to Christ is the only way to always guarantee victory.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent