School was usually good, except for the dreaded pop quizzes. It was like the teacher had radar, for she always knew when we were most unprepared.
“All right, class. Put away your books and take out a piece of paper. We are going to have a pop quiz.”
“It’s not fair. We aren’t ready. We haven’t had a chance to study,” we’d moan.
“You are supposed to know the material and be ready whether we have a test or not.”
Since there was no reasoning with her and there were only so many times we could tell the school nurse that our malaria was flaring up again, all we could do was take the test and pray that we remembered the work.
It is important to be prepared, for living is one test after another. Some are multiple choice (good, better, best) while others are more true/false, right/wrong. Some are judgment questions—if a tractor trailer is doing 65 mph on the interstate and I have my old Chevy van with zero acceleration power, can I make the merge without being demolished? How can I relate to our teenage kids and still keep my sanity?
Still others are essay questions that test how well you know yourself and know the Lord as your Savior and guide. In those tests of integrity, when no teacher is looking and there is no answer key, it is important to be prepared. We will not receive a grade but will be called to explain what we have done with our lives on the final exam of life.
Scripture tells us that, “Every knee will bow before Me [Jesus] and every tongue will confess to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:11-12). And for that test, we never know the time or the day so we can’t wait until the night before and cram for it. We must be ready at all times.
It also tells us that we should be ready to offer answers to those who are searching. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15). The hope that we have is in Jesus as our Savior and friend who saves from sin and has changed our lives. And if you ask me why, I’ll tell you.
A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry