Crossing the Finish Line, Celebrating the Wins!

My daughters were both in track and it was fun to watch them as a team celebrate the end of their races and the end of the meet as well. First place runners were highly celebrated. But the other runners were also met with team members who embraced them regardless of their finish.
All of the runners celebrated when their team did well in the meet. Obviously, the top runners had earned the most points for the team, but every runner, jumper and thrower earned critical points that put the team over the top. And ALL the girls celebrated for those who came out on top, even if that meant that the first place girls had beaten fellow teammates. And, if someone suffered a major setback or an injury, the whole team gathered around their fallen runner. Sometimes the team stopped for something special (like Eegee’s here in Tucson) on the way home.
The Bible portrays this kind of attitude for teammates when it says, Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15) Teammates look at the winners as if they won together.
This week we will celebrate those who have had some special accomplishments — announcements of Amare Awards, Rising Scholars, ACSI festival winners, etc. Students will receive character blessings from their teachers. Some will win several awards while others may receive nothing special. How do we help all of our students to see these events (the SOL/SOR Promotion and Convocation) as a time for all school celebration, regardless of one’s own place in the pack? 
First, teach about life milestones. In the Old Testament we see numerous places when a victory is won or a miracle takes place for the nation. Some of those times, the children of God were instructed on how to commemorate the event by setting up a memorial stone (1 Samuel 7:10-13) as an Ebenezer or stone of help or commemorated by building a stone altar (Joshua 4:4-9). See if there is some way that you can memorialize the successful completion of the school year, whether your child earned extra awards or not. Perhaps the Character Blessing can be put in a frame and hung in the child’s room for the next year when it is replaced by the new milestone.
Second, train our students to rejoice with their peers. Talk about how exciting it is going to be to watch and celebrate the accomplishments of others. Discuss with your child the different classmates and ask if they see any special ways in which the Lord has designed them. Set them up to listen for the traits the teacher has seen in their friends. Teach them to applaud their friends and paint a picture of the Promotions or the Convocation and class blessings as precious memories they will all have together.
Third, train them to avoid envy. This is easier said than done. All of us struggle when we see people celebrated rather than ourselves. In addition, we tend to compare ourselves with others at the point of their strengths against our weaknesses. Also, we fail to be content with our own blessings when others exceed them; like a person with a lovely singing voice who despises their talent because he/she has a friend who is a virtuoso. We as parents set the tone. If we are expressing sour grapes because one student got four achievements while mine only had one, our sons or daughters will pick this up and amplify it in their hearts. If we rejoice and celebrate without feeling threatened, our children will learn to follow suit.
Fourth, train one’s child in humility and gratitude toward God. We have to learn to be “good winners.” How do we respond to victory? Do we Lord it over others? Or do we have gratitude to the God who made us and gave us our abilities?  For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7 NASB) Are we amazed at what God is developing as we are faithful in little things? (Matthew 25:21) Note with your child that each person is a hand-crafted original (Psalm 139:13-14) with good works planned out just for him or her (Ephesians 2:10). Celebrate the distinctiveness of each of their fellow students.
Does your student ever feel like there is nothing about him or her to celebrate? Do they feel like God passed them over? If so, let them know that Mr. Barnes was nothing special when he was a kid. Nobody could point to an athletic, musical, or academic ability throughout his entire childhood. It is hard to be the late bloomer. But a parent can implant a sense of wonder over the mystery of what God must be doing.
Many tears can be shed in the waiting, but God still has a plan. All of the verses mentioned above are absolutely true for every human being. The end of the story has not been told. Trust me, I know.
Let’s be patient with our celebrations this week. We are family; we are Veritas. Let us treasure these moments together. Christopher

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *