Last Thursday, I saw Tyler, the young man spoken of in this entry. Now finishing his senior year of college, we shared a hug and updates on our lives. He came by as our alums often do to play some basketball. Truthfully, I had forgotten all about this incident. It is from May 23, 2011.
Finals began today! The exams for Bible were in the second testing period so I have well over one hundred semester tests to grade. Making them is easy; grading them is another story. Our kids all are required to take finals with one exception: seniors who have an A average in a class and three or less absences for any reason during the spring term do not have to take that particular test. It's a big advantage. You have one less final to study for and more time to prepare for the ones in which you struggled. There is one condition, however- you have to turn in an exemption form with your parents' signature by a certain date. Tyler is in my senior boys' Bible class. He's exceptionally bright and well-spoken, both in writing and aloud, and a terrific basketball player, to boot. Tyler met the criterion for grades and attendance but there was a problem; he forgot to get his folks to sign on the dotted line and by the time he turned it in, the deadline had passed. He came to me last Thursday and asked if I would plead his case to the higher ups to see if he could be granted an exception. I was glad to but explained there were no guarantees. I went to the administrator in charge but there was no exception granted. Tyler understood and this morning took the final with the other young men who had not met those standards. He even came in before school and had me review him on the material. As I am half way through grading the tests from his class, Tyler is flying through with a high A. You know, he may even improve his semester grade because of that too late sheet of paper!
Wouldn't it be great if we could be exempted from life's tests and trials? I have been reading some FACEBOOK postings from former students and I am amazed how many storms some of them are enduring. We know that to believers, tests can be used by the Lord to prepare us for what lies ahead and allow us relate to others who will meet the same crises. But it's sometimes hard to remember that when the waves of sorrow unrelentingly crash down upon us. Peter told us in his first epistle that we should, 'Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.' I'm not a very good caster but I'm working on it. Tyler might not want to admit it right now but his forgetfulness this month may help guide him to his aspirations next year. That's the way testing works.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Wise are they who have learned these truths: Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube."
William Arthur Ward
PS: Tyler approved of my writing this entry. Please keep him in your prayers as he makes college decisions. As I mentioned, Tyler is a very good basketball players and he is weighing his options!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org