I’ve been waiting for this day for months. Waiting might not adequately describe it. Maybe I’ve been dreading this day. I’ve known it was coming and I’ve done my best to prepare, but it’s always hard to prepare for something that you feel overwhelmed by. Today is the day of my oral ordination exams and I am heading to Charlotte, North Carolina.
I remember the last time that I felt like this. It was probably about 13 or 14 years ago when I sat for my engineer’s licensure exam. It was an exam in 2 parts. I had passed the first 8 hour portion when I was a junior in college. A few of us took it for a goof figuring that it couldn’t hurt us and if we didn’t pass, we could always take it our senior year when we knew more….at least theoretically we would have known more.
The second part of the exam was up in Storrs, Connecticut. It was a Friday…..all day. 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the afternoon. It was open book, but that usually means that it will be harder. I had prepared for months, studying on my own, studying with a friend, and even taking a review class. When the exam was over, I went over to my girlfriend’s house (now she’s my wife), drank a few beers, and laid down, giving in to complete mental exhaustion in a matter of minutes.
I don’t necessarily have that luxury today. I have to make my way back home after the grueling exam. Maybe just the fact that my effort is behind me will propel me home. Of course, a passing grade would propel me home all the more easily.
Pass or fail, one attempt will be behind me. Like my parents used to tell me and like I’ve taken to telling my children, as long as you’ve done your best, that’s what matters. If I need a retake, there are worse things that can happen.
So, here I go. If you think about me through the day, please don’t hesitate to send up some prayers for me. God knows that I need them.