Tests are awful.
Who really likes to sit down with pencil in hand ready to fill in bubble upon bubble responding to questions about the physical make-up of a cell? Who wants to write line upon line for that essay comparing the American and French Revolutions?
Many a student has fretted, worried, lost sleep, crammed, and nearly bit off their fingernails leading up to the big test. Why do we respond this way?
I think it has something to do with the fact that we are afraid of the consequences if we fail. We get so overloaded with the thought that a potentially bad grade may go on our permanent record that we can’t think straight about mitochondria, ribosomes, or cilium, let alone feudalism, taxation, or the Reign of Terror.
In a fascinating moment in biblical history, though, we get to see a man take a test that is for more stress-filled and consequence-laden than any we have ever attempted. Abraham’s faith is tested through God’s command to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
We know the end of the story. We know that Abraham passes with flying colors. We know that Abraham’s faith stands. What is so amazing, though, is how calm and sure Abraham seems to be. Throughout the entire narrative, Abraham’s trust in God guides his emotions and his actions. Let’s think together about what we can learn by watching Abraham take this test.