I am not a big fan of exams. Candidly, I hate them! I get nervous. I know what I do not know. I also know that I do not what others to know what I do not know. I always fear that exams will reveal the lack of knowledge. It is easy to forget that they are designed to measure the positive as well as the negative.
As I have gotten older, the nature of exams has changed. Gone is the periodic need to face the educational judge. In its place, I now have internal auditors, external examiners, and regulators. Even if they are not enough, there are the centralized business functions – risk managers and a host of specialists that make his or her living second guessing decisions that we have taken. It seems that I have replaced a periodic set of exams with a constant examination. I do not like the new regime any more than I liked the first! I want life to be focused on the positive, not the weaknesses and negatives.
As I age, I find myself embracing a different approach. I know there is much that I do not know. I am quite confident that there are others brighter, smarter, quicker, stronger, and more effective. In short, I know I am human, weak, and an idiot. If I know, and God knows, then who really cares who else knows? This is a fundamental shift in thinking. It is also incredibly helpful. With a willingness to be a food, exams are easy! What I know now has the opportunity to see the light of day. Weaknesses, failures, and gaps are merely opportunities we can address.
I find hope when I see others act with the same conviction. It is encouraging when “Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: 'Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I'll be completely frank with you-we have nothing to hide.'” (Acts 4.8, 9)
Exams are opportunity windows.
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