This week at school we did achievement testing for all of our students. I love that time of year. Mostly because it is very quiet for a few hours each day. All you can hear is the faint sound of bubbles being filled in on answer sheets. The other reason I love testing is the announcements we make leading up to it. We always encourage our students to do three main things:
1. Be sure to get plenty of sleep (Go to bed around midnight instead of 2am!)
2. Eat a big breakfast (Does this mean eat 2 pop-tars if you usually only eat one?)
3. Be sure to bring plenty of number 2 pencils.
Have you ever tried to test that last one out? Have you ever tried to take a standardized test with a number 1 or number 3 pencil? It seems that it is pretty important to use a number 2 pencil. No matter how old you are, you never forget the necessity of having a number 2 pencil for these tests.
What other things in our lives are as vital as a number 2 pencil? Is it your family? Your friends? Your job? Your house? Your car? What about God? What if you faced every situation understanding that without God you don’t have a chance.
On a standardized test, you are required to have a number 2 pencil to complete the assignment. In life, you can choose a number of different ways to approach a situation. However, the only way you will be successful is if you approach the situation with God and His glory in mind. I look back over my experiences of the past 28 years and I can honestly say that the last 13 since I became a Christian are by far the most fulfilling. I won’t say it has all been Sunday School picnics and popsicle parties, but I can say that it is a lot more comforting going into a situation knowing that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is guiding my path and ordering my steps. Think about that. How many times have I approached a situation on my own in an effort to “give God the day off?” Those are the days that I have to hit “restart” more than once and go back and apologize for my shortcomings.
The past several days, I have had the privilege of finishing up my first seminary class. This class was New Testament Survey. I have really enjoyed learning and being challenged again. It has been about 6 years since I was last in a classroom, writing papers, and studying for tests on a regular basis. It has been both great and difficult so far, but I only have 11 classes left.
It is time for me to go and sharpen my number 2 pencils so that I can take my final exam. I remember taking the California Achievement Test in first grade with a number 2 pencil. It is exciting to use that same kind of pencil now as I am being challenged to grow in my faith and in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I think I better call it a night. I need to get a good night’s sleep and eat a big breakfast tomorrow.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.