Saturday, May 17, 2014

Passing the Pop Tests by Martin Wiles

Pop tests. A test students aren’t informed of. I had them in most of my college classes, and occasionally I give them to my middle school students. Unlike my college professors, I normally warn my students one is coming. Doing so makes my pop tests deviate from the literal definition. I’ll never forget the student— who after hearing me say “Take out one sheet of paper,” said, “But Dr. Wiles, it wasn’t on Renweb.” (The system we use to record grades, lesson plans, and homework assignments.) I quickly informed her that listing a pop quiz as a homework assignment destroys the purpose of the quiz.

Joseph had a series of pop quizzes in Egypt, among them confronting the overtures of the boss’s wife. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. (Genesis 39:12 NLT)

If I’m to pass life’s pop tests, I must remember there’s a sudden aspect to their nature. I can prepare for the pop tests—in fact, that’s the only way I can pass them, but I can’t determine when they’ll arrive. My professors told me how many I’d have in a semester, but they didn’t share the dates they’d be administered. They were pop. I prepared by reading my homework assignments and studying the main points. Paying attention to spiritual disciplines such as bible study, prayer, meditation, and accountability to other believers prepares me to pass life’s pop tests. 

Life’s pop tests may also be numerous. I’ve experienced hundreds during my lifetime. Joseph also faced quite a few while in Egypt: sold by his brothers and slave traders, working as a slave laborer, falsely accused of rape by his boss’s wife, forgotten in prison. God may directly send pop quizzes or allow Satan to. Either way, he controls their arrival, intensity, and duration. My responsibility is to trust his wisdom and depend on his strength to pass them. 

With God’s assistance, all of life’s pop tests can be passed.

Prayer: God of mercy and grace, equip us with Your strength and guidance so we might pass the tests life throws our way. 

Martin N Michelle
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