A few days ago I was talking to a mother who’s son has important exams at the end of the year!
He’s a smart guy with little interest in school and so in the eyes of some he’s a failure!
The call made me think!
You see God has allowed me live 2 lives in many ways! In school growing up I was always top of the class and this continued into secondary school and college.
I never failed an academic exam in my life including the actuarial exams which have a 60% failure rate!
And then, life changed and so did my focus! I lost 100% interest in study and career ‘success’ and this carried through to my time in the seminary!
I made minimal effort at all the topics and was nowhere near top of the class!
Nonetheless, exam technique mixed with life experience and a good imagination meant I did far better than my study efforts merited!
But then came the subject I despised, History of the church!
I had zero interest, zero motivation and the priest who lectured it would struggle to sell ice-creams on a sunny beach!
On top of all that it was french history and I was more concerned about the church’s future than past!
I did a little study but I just couldn’t remember a thing!
The day of the exam came and I got zero! I failed it outright! It was one of my proudest moments!
As I saw the others excel in their studies I thought ‘poor fools, I was like ye before but Jesus is looking for men of prayer, not books’!
Life caught me out the first time but I learnt from it!
And just like the kid with poor exam results struggles to find a job, my life was the same with religious orders! I was like scum!
There was no room for a fragile gay failure like me!
Of course I saw the funny side! The same me who just years before was able to get an actuarial job at the drop of a hat was now untouchable!
It made me realise what life was like for those who grew up with me who were not so academic! They too were treated like fools when their talents simply lied elsewhere!
Sadly the church isn’t much different from the world when it comes to the ‘elite’ which is probably why so few people respect it anymore!
The church is supposed to provide an alternative to the world, not a duplicate!
Anyway, the moral of the story is that there is more to life than academia and exams and that many people who can neither read nor write are far more intelligent than others with many letters after their name!
1 Corinthians 4:10-13
‘Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed.
Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home.
We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.
We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.’
Have a foolish day!