The Master Discipler
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
It was my senior year and I had big dreams. It was my time to shine, especially on the basketball floor. But God had other ideas. During the 2nd game of the season, I drove in hard to the basket. As I elevated to the hoop, a defender unintentionally undercut me and I found myself several feet above the ground but with my feet above my head. I came down hard on the hardwood, trying to catch myself to limit the impact. The rest of the game was equally disappointing as our team lost and I distinctly remember going 1 for 11 from the field. A week later my left wrist was in a cast and the majority of my senior season of basketball was over. What a disappointment. Years of training seemed to go down the drain.
Little did I know that God had more valuable training in store for me. I was now called upon to become our team’s #1 cheerleader during practices. Even more humiliating, I was charged with the responsibility of being our team’s official bookkeeper. I didn’t even get to sit on our team bench anymore! I was shaken to my core. I was faced with so many tough questions. Where did basketball rank in the priorities of my life? Did I truly understand what being part of a team meant? Was my value based upon performance? Was pride a very real character flaw in my life?
Over the course of the next few months, I wrestled with these questions and many more. I became aware of some things about myself that I did not like. I made a commitment to begin to change them. I also became much more aware of life outside of trying to be a star on the court. I was exposed to so many other coaches and administrators from other schools. I slowly improved my social skills and began to take my new responsibilities very seriously. During my time as a player-coach, I realized an entirely new side of the game that was previously unknown to me.
Years later I can look back and understand how a common but untimely injury was actually part of God’s plan in preparing me for years of coaching and leadership. But in that moment, it was excruciatingly painful and confusing. I can only imagine what students of our senior class must be going through this spring. Many of the special experiences they have looked forward to for years have mostly disappeared just as they near the finish line of their high school career. As disappointing as it must be, God is certainly at work. The apostle Paul had a life full of painful surprises and disappointments. Yet he boldly declared that “God works all things for His good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
I think that is a good word for all of us right now. What is God up to in your life in these circumstances? What character growth is possible? What new opportunities are suddenly being revealed? How does God compare to other priorities in your life? How can learning itself carry value as opposed to performance or results?
Instead of dwelling on what is lost in the past or being anxious about an uncertain future, focus on the moments of today. The training from the master discipler has never been more present!
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
Last week I was taking a quick break on my front porch in the sunshine with family members. I was eager to go back inside and get back to work, but it was my birthday after all. A few more minutes under blue skies were certainly warranted. Suddenly, the peaceful atmosphere was interrupted by the sound of honking car horns.
A dozen cars driven by quarantine-crazed seniors blessed my day with a birthday parade I have never experienced before. Balloons, streamers, and decorated windows accompanied the noisy procession. Nearby neighbors came out to gawk at the disturbance, not quite understanding the ruckus. Crosshill students had come from as far as Silverton and Monmouth to join the parade and be seen out in public. With the current price of gas, who could blame them!
I certainly was honored by their expression of affection for their fearless leader and math teacher. The fact that one of their classmates also had a birthday procession minutes before did nothing to temper my gratitude. The fact that students had been holed up in their houses for weeks and might have performed a parade for just about any reason also did not cross my mind. It was my birthday. A day to feel special.
Sometimes on our birthdays, we might feel like we are entitled to our special day and the fanfare of gifts and cakes and parties that often go along with them. Some people even require their family to celebrate their "birthday week" or "birthday month". I get a kick out of that and enjoy helping others feel special. But at the end of the day, birthdays are just a mundane reminder that the earth has traveled around the sun once again.
I am reminded of the truth that is far from mundane or routine. "But God shows his own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Nothing is more powerful or special than God's love for us. And there is nothing that we could ever do to earn it. In fact, the very essence of our sinful flesh requires the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The gift of salvation is obviously better than any gift one could receive in their natural lifetime. The next time your receive or give a gift, be reminded of the ultimate gift that gives each of us new birth in Christ. Now that is a "birthday lifetime".
by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
While my hours on our campuses has certainly decreased, I still often make quick trips to open the building for a teacher or retrieve a textbook for a student. On one of these trips, I was walking down our High School hallway, breathing in that new school smell. Suddenly, my sensitive nose was assaulted with the stench of rotten bananas. I knew what I had to do. I must find those rotten bananas, and make some really sweet banana bread.
I turned to my left and identified my targets: 75 student lockers. I turned to my right and identified another 75 student lockers. With precision only a seasoned principal can produce, I efficiently explored every single locker, rejoicing each time I opened a locker that they had no locks on them. I found the rotten bananas as well as many other unplanned science experiments and filled up an entire garbage bag with forgotten food leftovers. As I thoroughly scrubbed in the restroom like a doctor finishing surgery, it dawned on me that another 150 student lockers still need to be searched upstairs!
Precision turned into perfection as I repeated my efforts through the upstairs hallway, filling another garbage bag to the brim. Any appetite I had when I entered the building was now long gone. As I made the long journey to the dumpster another time, I once again realized an oversight. There were still another 120 lockers in the Team Rooms! What had started out as a quick errand to retrieve a Life Science book had now become one of the greatest rotten food crises in the history of the new high school building!
May I paraphrase the apostle Paul (Galatians 6), and encourage you to not grow weary in doing good. God is the author of the harvest. He has promised us a time of reaping according to his timetable. Do not give up. Continue to do good as you have opportunity to your family and those God leads to you. As we all eagerly look for the next season, let us not forget to flourish in this season. You may not have 420 lockers to clean, but there may be 420 dishes to wash (every day)! But while my duty was completed in complete isolation, our daily duties with family are simply isolated from many outside distractions.Take what you have and make it good, like really sweet banana bread.