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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exam (09/12/13)

TITLE: Wasting Time Taking Tests
By Gerald Shuler


I remember Friday's in High School so clearly that even now, 45 years later, I wake up on Friday morning with the same dread as back then when I knew Mrs. Clemson was going to give us a another grueling test. Friday was Test Day... not only in Mrs. Clemson's class (though her's were the most feared by the student body) but in every class, every subject, every room.

It wasn't that I feared failing the test. Studying was my passion; learning was my mantra. I knew test test would be a breeze. My problem was that they were, in my opinion, a waste of time. Wouldn't it be better use of school time if the teacher just taught and the students just learned? We would have had time to do the next chapter and, after an entire year of saving our Friday's, we could have saved enough time to get out of school three weeks early. Now that made sense to me.

Other students shared my desire to do away with test days. Of course, they each had different reasons for rallying behind my cause. Most of them just feared getting a lower grade on the test than their parent would be able to understand. Some hadn't studied. Some didn't care to study. A few even had a tendency to get physically ill on Test Day. They were the ones that almost convinced me to choose Psychiatry as a career. I didn't, though, because I knew that field would require many more years of teacher required, student detested tests.

We haven't changed, have we? Even after all these years of being out of school we still dread the test days of life. Every struggle, every challenge, every unexpected bump in the road throws us into that Test Day mentality. The tests of life tend to put us into an almost unreasonable mode of fear. A doctor give us bad news about our health... we panic. Our boss tells us we are next in line for being laid off... we panic. Our best friend tells us about seeing our spouse with someone else... we panic.

Panic is fear. Fear is uncertainty. Uncertainty is a lack of preparation. Shouldn't we spend more time preparing for the tests of life that we know are coming? The bible is full of answers to the problems we will face in life's tests. If we spend more time learning God's Word and applying it to our daily lives, then we wouldn't be thrown into panic when life's tests try to tackle our senses. If prepared, we will understand the truth about the tests.

The simple truth is that God never allows tests that we don't have the ability to pass... if we have done our homework in His Word. He sent His Holy Spirit to teach us God's ways. The truth about tests, though, is something that I should have learned years ago. Life would have been so different if I had understood the reason for Mrs. Clemson's impossible Friday tests. She was doing no less than what God does with the tests He allows in our lives.

The test doesn't test our knowledge... it only tests our preparation.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10 (KJV)

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This article has been read 333 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen09/21/13
A very enjoyable, well done and inspirational read!
Sunny Loomis 09/25/13
Studying the Bible is major education. Tests in school don't really prepare you for life. Good piece. Thank you.
Judith Gayle Smith09/26/13
This is clear and concise - excellent. I love it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/02/13
This is brilliant. I have tears in my eyes. Tests in school never bothered me. I almost enjoyed them...if only I could have that same confidence in life. What a wonderful reminder you gave me and I really needed it right now. Congratulations on ranking 14 overall!
Jules St. Jermaine 10/15/13
I loved this story and the message. God Bless!