by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
I have mixed feelings about this month’s character trait of patience. I am excited about the powerful truths that can transform the lives of families, but am also convicted of how much growth remains in my own life! There are so many valuable truths surrounding patience, I want to highlight each of the five “I will” statements that students will focus on this month as they practice “accepting difficult situations for as long as it takes.”
1. Make the most of my spare time
Whether it is a trip to Les Schwab, a child’s doctor's appointment, or commuting to work, many of us have pockets of spare time throughout our weeks. A ten minute pocket of spare time each day totals a full work week and a half of our lives. It is valuable to be deliberate with our spare time and not just let it slip away with what is convenient. I try to keep good non-fiction books and professional podcasts easily accessible throughout my day.
2. Keep trying until I succeed
Consider the high school volleyball team. The seniors started four years ago with a record of 1-15. That experience is generally described with the word failure. Yet success is almost always the result of many failures. In this culture of immediate self-gratification, if the players or coaches allowed discouragement to creep in, they may have decreased the intensity of their commitment, or even stopped trying altogether. But with tremendous patience and determination, years of commitment have now resulted in tremendous success as they compete this weekend in the OSAA State Championship Tournament.
3. Not interrupt
This is a hard one for me. I love to hear myself talk. But I already know what I know (and I’m really not that interesting). Rather than being consumed by our own thoughts and what we want to say next in a conversation, it is so valuable to focus our listening skills on the speaker. Considering what questions to ask is an excellent practice to limit disrespectful interruptions while also being a good friend.
4. Not complain if I don’t get my way
What a difficult challenge! We all want our way. Yet obedient service, whether to God or each other, is not just defined by our actions, but also by our attitudes. Choosing to not obey or to simply complete a request begrudgingly is a lose-lose situation. It breeds selfishness and destroys relationships. It is helpful to first admit that “my way” may not always be the best way, anyway! Then wake up each morning with a desire to serve others selflessly.
5. Change the things I can change and accept the things I can’t
This is the heart of our salvation. After surrendering our will to God, we simply allow Him to transform our lives and be used as agents of redemption in this world. Paul writes, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” I am not envious of most of Paul’s situations as they were oftentimes very discouraging. I am glad others are patient with me and my shortcomings and I hope to practice the same, while also working hard to fulfill God’s will for me each day.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent