Final Exams and the Spiritual Analogue

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'm watching my students take final exams, and I am left wondering. Their greatest immediate concerns are their grades on this exam and this class. As a teacher, I want to make them understand the importance of being ready. This semester should have been one of preparation. This week should not have been one of cramming. Where is the joy in learning? This test should mark the end of a great semester of learning! Instead, I see misery and terror. Students hold the tests and are apoplectic. Several students will leave and be faced with failing grades in my class or other classes. I want to make something clear. I am their teacher. I love my students and would very much like for them to succeed. Where is their passion?

I am sure that many parallels can be drawn between this situation and people's spiritual lives. Since most of them are obvious, I will end with two quotes:
  • "If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
  • "God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him." - John Piper in nearly every book he writes.