Our family enjoys many activities, but sports has not been at the top of the list. Imagine our surprise when our youngest son began to express interest in soccer, football, and his personal favorite, basketball. Knowing that we were not qualified to teach him, we signed him up for Upwards through our local church. He was delighted! Upwards provided the perfect amount of instruction and encouragement to fan the flame in his basketball-loving heart. In one particular game, an enthusiastic young lady received the ball. She dribbled around every obstacle as she made her way down the court. The crowd was cheering loudly as she took her shot. Swish! Nothing but net! She jumped up and down with glee, until she saw the less than enthusiastic faces of her teammates. You see, she had scored a basket for the opposing team.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever worked tirelessly and accomplished much, only to discover that you’ve been aiming for the wrong goal? In Philippians 3:14-15, the apostle Paul states his goal, “I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way…”
As we near competition season, it’s important to set our hearts in the right direction. Why are we preparing for speech and debate? What do we hope to accomplish? What does God want to accomplish in us?
Our purpose in NCFCA is to prepare ambassadors for Christ who communicate truth with integrity and grace. We use competition as a means, not the end of that preparation. So give it your all. Work hard. Strive diligently. Just make sure you’re aiming for the right hoop!
In His Grace,
Amy Joy Tofte
NCFCA Director of Education
A note to parents and coaches: Competition evokes many different emotions in our students. For some, it causes anxiety and fear to surface. For others, pride rears its ugly head. As parents and coaches, we have the opportunity to walk with our students through each competitive opportunity, shaping and molding their responses. In Philippians 2-3, the apostle Paul provides guidance on how to navigate our interactions with others while developing Christlike character in our own hearts. Let’s take this opportunity to begin orienting our students’ hearts and minds in the right direction.