It’s been a crazy week, and I’m just now getting around to my writing that I usually do on Tuesday. Better late than never, I suppose. The past few days were spent on papers for my Biblical Hermeneutics class, cleaning, working, and trying to study for the Bible Content Exam I have to take tomorrow morning.
This exam is 100 questions about – you guessed it, Biblical content, with no Bible to lean on and no notes. Just me and an exam on what my mind has memorized about the Good Book. On one hand it’s a Bible trivia sort of thing: who wrote this…who was king when so-and-so was around…what is this passage referring to? If you’ve studied your Bible, you should know the stuff.
On the other hand, it’s a pretty important step in my ordination process – I have to pass this exam at some point in order to be ordained. I can take it a few times in an attempt to pass it, so I’m not overly worried…but still… there’s a certain ache in my soul about this exam: if I don’t pass, am I really meant to be in this field? Is this really where God wants me to be? Will this exam define my future in ministry? Is this a complete picture of who I am and what I’m capable of doing for God? Does this demonstrate all that I know about the Bible?
Truthfully, no, I don’t have the prophets memorized in order, nor which kings they were working with/against/in the vicinity of. And no, I can’t completely recognize the difference in writing between Paul, deutero-Paul, and not-at-all Paul. Nope I cannot, off of the top of my head, identify who recounts being lifted “by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem”?*
I understand that my denomination desires its ministers to be well-versed in the Bible – that’s a good thing. I mean, the book is kind of important since most of my work in ministry will revolve around it. Biblical content knowledge and memorization is important, but knowing how to use the Bible is equally important. Knowing how to find the answers, knowing where to find answers, or knowing that there may not be an answer is just as important – if not more important – than Bible trivia.
So I’ll take some time tonight to study a bit more, but will tell myself to not worry about it. This is just a blip on the road – I know who I am in God’s eyes. I know who I am in the world. I know I’m capable, I know I’m being prepared, I know I’m not the summation of the numbers I receive tomorrow. I know the Bible and I know that God will always love me.
much love. sheth.