Cramming for the Exam


The official  mascot of Colorado State University is a Ram named “CAM,”  an acronym derived from the original name of this institution, Colorado  Agricultural and Mechanical College. I drew “CRAM” the Ram for my daughter, who is studying hard at C.S.U., because every college student can identify with cramming for an exam. I have memories of my roommates pulling all-nighters in college. The reason I have those memories is because I was up with them.

And I pulled it off. With poor study habits, I showed sufficient mastery of an array of subjects to pass the requisite courses for a college diploma.

Spiritual training doesn’t work that way. In the Master’s school of spiritual growth, cramming for exams is useless, because tests are not only part of the training, they’re the whole of the training. All of life–the entire curriculum–is a test given by our Instructor–a test of walking with Him in trust.

Prosperity is one kind of test. Adversity is another. The latter is more difficult to endure, but the former may be harder to pass.

None of our test-taking is classroom theory.  It’s all practical application. And our Teacher is with us morning, noon, and night, because all of His instruction is relationship based. All of our learning, changing, and growing is relationship based.

Here’s the tricky part. Although the Teacher is always teaching, we aren’t always learning. While class is always in session, we aren’t always present. Even though the Master is always testing, we aren’t always passing.

Here’s the good part. The Master will keep teaching until we learn, and keep testing until we pass, no matter how many times He has to repeat the lesson, no matter how long it takes.

How would I know?  I’m enrolled.

How would you describe your learning experience?


7 thoughts on “Cramming for the Exam

  1. How would I describe my learning experience? Varied.
    Sometimes I’m the class “gunner” — paying attention, asking all the questions, taking notes like a madwoman. And then there are the times I sleep in late, skip class and don’t even know when the midterm exam is scheduled. Yeah, those are great times. I’ve crammed for exams too — hoping whatever I shoved into my too-tired brain is enough to get me a passing grade.
    That’s no way to do college — or life, for that matter.
    I’m thankful our Teacher never flunks us out of the class.

    • Thank you for talking about your school days. I suppose I have had a tendency to gather and organize data into the right answers to some predetermined questions, keeping a lot of things in the realm of theory. I found out that wasn’t really learning. God has a way of saying “go learn what this means” and then sending the circumstances that require personal application. But you mentioned the best part. He doesn’t flunk us out. It must be grace, because I know I’m not still enrolled because of my GPA:-)

  2. Love CRAM the RAM.
    I’m just glad that for the final exam, the Master sits down and takes the test for us….then credits us with his 100%. I’d never make it. Most of the the rest of my life is spent trying to believe that one truth, and trusting him.
    Love CRAM the RAM.

    • I’m fond of CRAM, too! Thank you for bringing up the most important thing–the thing I left out–that our acceptance and approval is based upon the performance of Another, the One who aced life for us. All the testing is part of God’s training in practical holiness as He transforms our character into the likeness of His own. Since our acceptance is based upon Christ’s perfect score, we are free to fail ,and free to admit failure, as we are in training. Thanks for raising the most important point!

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