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Posts Tagged ‘Sullenberger’

Photo by Charles C. Ebbets, 1932

Are there people out there who actually like taking tests? Not me. Conceptually, I understand the reason for them, they inform me and reveal to me what I know. But I have contorted this process into a performance: good score, good girl and vice versa, or worse, pass/fail. That’s not how it works.

I Thessalonians 2:3-4
For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, . . . We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

It’s unlikely that God’s intent is to grade Paul on his experiences in Thessalonica in the process testing his heart. Bible translations slightly differ on how they interpret the Greek word, dokimazo. The long definition would be “I put to the test, prove, examine; I distinguish by testing, approve after testing; I am fit.” So, in this context, heart testing is a way to reveal what is really there. It’s an authenticity gauge.

Unfortunately, but most of us don’t really know or understand our hearts. Generally, we get a vague idea based on our behaviors, our decisions, and subsequent fall-out. Sometimes, we create a scenario to see inside. I remember how that turned out a long time ago when Mike and I went to a marriage retreat and were instructed to discuss with each other what we would do if either one of us was trapped on a very high beam that was stretched between two skyscrapers. Would we, despite our fear, go out to the middle of the beam to save the other one. This exercise, I suppose, was to show our sacrificial love for one another. Of course, Mike said he wouldn’t come out. “What ifs” are dangerous games.

Bottom line, heart testing has to be the real thing. It’s the only way to exercise an authentic response to a situation. This is where courage and fear wrestle, where practice becomes second nature, where our progress can be reflected, straight out.

When Captain (pilot) Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully “ditched” U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River with no loss of life, he was sorely tested. And yet, he responded with all the practice and all the experience he had. He assessed his situation, he evaluated all the choices, and he acted.

I must be willing to do the same. I cannot know in advance how I will react in a situation. I can only work on responses and the health of my inner life and relationship with the Christ Spirit within me. I may need to be more conscious now in my choices as a way of building up my heart’s understanding so that I can respond instinctively to the next situation.

Another word for this sanctification.

Test me, O LORD, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
for your love is ever before me,
and I walk continually in your truth. [Psalm 26:2-3]

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