Year 12 exams: the big picture - part I

Image: Year 12 exams: the big picture - part I

Part 1: It's not about the final result

It's that time of year again as year 12 students across Australia lock themselves in rooms, study on camps or simply start freaking out!

I remember exactly what it feels like. It was all happening to me last year. However only weeks out from the start, my world was radically changed and I understood the purpose of the exams, so much so that I was able to ENJOY my exams!

During this series we will reflect on the purpose of your final year exams and where they fit into the bigger picture of eternity. The topics will be:

    • Recognise that it is important to work hard (this article)
    • Realise that there is life after your exams, and God is in control
    • Remember that God loves you no matter what results
    • So Relax

As we look at these four R’s we will take a look at the comfort and encouragement to be gained from the Bible.

Part 1: Working Hard

There is no doubt about it. It is important to work hard. If you want to score well in the exams you do actually need to work hard.

But your motivation for working hard needs to be in the right place. It should not be to impress people or for bragging rights or even so you can get a career to earn lots of money. No, doing hard things, and perservering through difficulties is important for developing your character (Romans 5:3-4), so that when you come up against hard things in the future you will know how to handle them.

It is a radical shift in your mindset if you understand the purpose of your exams from Gods perspective. Here is a modern day parable to illustrate my point:

The man who kept pushing

A man is asked by the Lord to push a large rock. The man pushes against the rock with his hands. It doesn't move. The man puts his back against it and pushes. The rock doesn't move. The man expends all his energy pushing against the rock, then when he's completely exhausted he rests. Then he gets up the following day and pushes against the rock again. Each day for several weeks he pushes at this rock with all his energy, just as God had commanded. The rock still doesn't move. Finally, the Lord comes back and the man apologizes: "I'm sorry, Lord. I tried to move the rock but I just can't do it..." The Lord replies: "I didn't ask you to move it, I just asked you to push it!"

See actually the Lord assigns this task so that the man will develop strength and muscle. While the man assumes that God expects immediate results of moving the rock. However God knows that he won't be able to move it. This strength that is developed gives the man ability to achieve and serve God in different ways in the future.

It's not about the final result

While to assume that year 12 is just about results seems obvious. But God has given you education to enable you not just to succeed this year but to serve God in the years to come. So keep pushing, keep studying, not just for the sake of your final mark, but in order to develop character and perseverance.

But always keep Jesus as your Lord! …. even over your exams!

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