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Run in such a way as to get the prize

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 – Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

I am a coach at heart. I have always had a passion to be involved in any type of sporting event. During the college football and basketball season you can find me watching the games. I don’t necessarily have a favorite team, but I enjoy dissecting how I would defend a certain play or player. Teams that play together as one unit to successfully score a basket or touchdown get the adrenaline rushing through my veins.

As I think about my years as a Lutheran educator I have great memories of student athletes that I have coached. I have also had the privilege of working alongside excellent teachers, administrators and coaches who have supported and encouraged me. I did not realize when I began my teaching career in a 5th/6th grade combined classroom at First Lutheran School in El Monte, CA, in 1976 that the Lord would have plans for me to “run the race” for the next 45 years.

I have never been a coach, teacher or administrator who ran to receive a “prize”, a ribbon or a trophy. I have always enjoyed competing. The preparation and training that goes in to being the best you can be has always been important to me. I believe that to be good at anything you do takes hard work, effort and follow through. But when you have put in a regiment of training and you are ready to compete in the game, then you should be confident you will be successful. I believe the Lord trains up His people in the same way. We experience God’s presence as we live out our daily lives. The Lord equips us as we study His word, lift up prayers and praise Him in worship. As we go through this training and strengthen our faith, we are then able to engage others with the love of Jesus.

I have witnessed a lot of changes in Lutheran education over the years and certainly this past year there has been unimaginable adjustments that have been made by all of us. But I believe we continue to run our race to receive the “crown” that will last forever. We must continue to put our trust in the Lord for He promises to daily renew our strength. We “run our race” confident our God guides and directs us in all that we do.

And when we have competed and the race is finished we can say with the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” As the Lord has worked in us to touch the lives of coworkers, students, and families, we can be confident He will use them to share His message of salvation to future generations. Carl Boburka, Immanuel Lutheran School, Riverside, CA


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