by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
One of my favorite movies I watched as a boy was “Where the Red Fern Grows.” The main character Billy desperately wanted some hounds to go ‘coon hunting. Billy tells his grandpa that he didn’t think that God wanted him to have any dogs because he had been praying his whole life and nothing had happened yet. Grandpa suggested that perhaps Billy wasn’t doing his fair share. Grandpa said that if God did all the work, it wouldn’t be good for Billy’s character. Billy said he didn’t want character, he wanted dogs! Grandpa said that if he wanted God’s help, Billy was going to have to meet Him halfway.
God is very interested in fulfilling the desires of our heart and He has a powerful role to play in meeting those desires. But God is also in the transformation business, and uses the process of prayer and life’s challenges to produce growth. Much of this growth is determined by our willingness to cooperate. Paul exhorts the church in Philippi to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). We have a part to play in this growth. The best word for our part of the deal is “training”.
Training should not be confused with trying. Unmet goals and absent transformation are often the result of fickle and uncommitted attempts. In a culture where everybody gets a participation trophy, many begin to believe that trying is simply enough. Well, I cannot complete a marathon under 4 hours simply by trying. I cannot learn to play the harmonica by trying. I cannot memorize a book of the Bible simply by trying. I cannot love my wife like Christ loves the church simply by trying.
I must invest in training. This requires true commitment and a true investment of time and effort over a period of time. It requires delayed gratification, discomfort, and even pain at times. At CCS, discipleship training motivates the foundation of all activities and learning. To truly follow Christ, we have to order our lives around disciplines and practices modeled by Christ. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Mother Teresa said it best when she explained: “Our progress in holiness depends on God and ourselves-on God’s grace and our will to be holy.” I’m not sure if Mother Teresa had any hounds, but if she did, I'm sure she had met God halfway.
– Adam Kronberger / Head of School