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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Exams (07/26/04)

TITLE: Pencils down
By Lisa Walker Thomas


Do you remember the nervous stomach, sweaty palms, that last check of the text book to look up the word “regurgitate” as it relates to amphibians. Well, if this isn’t reminiscent of one of your exams, it is definitely reminiscent of one of mine.

It’s not as if we didn’t study to prepare ourselves for the “exam” it was simply the “anticipation” that came along with exams that seemingly made us develop “flu like” symptoms. Some teachers and professors were kind enough to give us an outline or a syllabus in order to prepare us for what would be on the test, others weren’t so kind. On exam days, for me there was no greater joy than to hear the words, “pencils down.” That was like cake on Christmas.

Well for me, all of that was a while back, for others of you even longer than that, and still others of you it was last week, or perhaps you’re anticipating exams for the winter quarter, or fall semester, depending on which you’re enrolled in. Whatever the case exam is one word we never stop hearing throughout our adult lives.

You see there are medical exams, driving exams, eye exams, written exams (for some jobs), and I. Q. exams. Whatever way you slice it; there will always be some facet of our lives that will require an exam.

As Christians, we should learn to embrace these exams, for it is through these exams we learn what physical, mental, and even emotional needs are lacking in our lives. Consider this, if you were to fail a medical exam, you would then need to examine your health. If you were to fail a driving exam (test) you would then need to practice your driving skills, and still again, if you were to fail an eye exam, you would need to be fitted for glasses. It is the results of the exams that spin our lives in directions we would not have investigated had it not been for the exam we took.

As Christians, if God did not examine our faith, our belief, and our trust, how would we ever become strengthened in these areas. It is through God’s examination of our hearts, our Heavenly Father knows our intentions, true desires, and greatest sins. As with the rest of the exams in our lives we must prepare ourselves for the test. For me, that preparation comes from reading the word of God, hearing the word of God and obeying the word of God.

In truth, I fall short, as I have in many of my exams, however I’m always amazed by the “make-up” test God provides, many times the make-up test are a bit easier than the exam. The make up test are easier because as with all of our exams we now know our shortcomings, and in knowing our shortcomings we now know what area of our lives need extra attention. After an exam reveals our shortcomings it is through our focus in those areas that we become better students and excellent teachers. Which when you think about it, is one of God’s greatest purposes for our lives, to go into the highways, and byways, and teach all nations, observing all things, whatsoever He has commanded of us, and we know He is with us always, even until the end of the world.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Beaman08/05/04
I thought you had some very good thoughts here. I agree that we should learn from our shortcomings. This is a very nice article.

I would like to suggest one thing, however. You might want to reference scripture, like the one you used in the last line, in parenthesis. That was Matthew 28:20, I believe. Many will be familiar with that, but some won't be. It's just a suggestion. I thought it was very nice.
Joyce Poet08/24/04
Hi Lisa. :) I just ran across this article. It's great! Yes, we are certainly "examined" or "tested." And we can be thankful for those tests. Great read!