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!