by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
I had just transferred from the large metropolis of Mitchell (population 200) to Crook County Middle School (population 200+) in Prineville, Oregon. As a new 8th grade student, I was trying to find my place in my new overwhelming community. With my scrawny build, I decided to join the Cross Country team as my football days were certainly numbered. I made a few friends and our team won the District Championship. Yet as the slowest member of our competitive team, I had to learn how to contribute even when I was clearly not the best.
Over the following summer, my parents insisted that I participate on the local swim team. I didn’t even know how to swim! They put me with all of the beginners (little kids). While I did learn how to swim through daily 2-hour practices, I also set the record for disqualifications in both the Breast Stroke and Butterfly Stroke for improper form. My parents agreed with me that I was not cut out to be a competitive swimmer after that summer, and I was allowed to simply focus on running.
That fall I went out for the High School Cross Country team and was worried there would be no place for me on the team. Now I had to compete against four grades of students, most of whom were older than me. Fortunately, I made the team and prepared for my first varsity race. Whether my swim team experience had expanded my lung capacity, or my extra summer miles had strengthened my legs, something was different. I finished in the top 10 at my first race and was the 2nd fastest runner out of our entire high school! God had been teaching me perseverance and humility as He slowly directed me on His path.
Whether it be board games, math Olympics, or other comparisons, competition gives the opportunity to reflect on our best as well as our own unique makeup given by God. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Paul knew that competition is often the key to unlocking growth in our lives. Competition requires us to give our best and enhances the performance of both the winners and losers. By measuring our success against other standards, we can develop the motivation to improve. When we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we choose a direction in the areas of gifting that God has given us. In a race, there may be only one winner. But in life, God designs everyone to win by choosing to give their best for His glory. As your child experiences losses and wins in their life, allow the principles in God’s Word to come to life.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
– Adam Kronberger / Head of School