Taking the LSAT is probably the most mentally-grueling tasks I’ve ever set out to do. I arrived about an hour early only because I was afraid my car was going to break down on the way or I was going to get lost somehow. I’m not very good with following directions, so this is normally a highly likely possibility and must be factored into every trip I drive. Anyhow, I sat in my car for a while until I grew a little restless, and then I went to check in.
Since I arrived to Corban University an hour before we were even supposed to check in, only a couple test-takers were there. The proctors and LSAC administrators had yet to arrive. To help pass the time, I imagined everyone who walked through the doors was wearing a suit. I mean, since we were all there to take the LSAT, which is to get into law school, which produces lawyers who wear suits, I figured it’d be fun to see what everyone looked like in a suit.
But I eventually got bored with that, too, so I decided to walk around like I was doing something important, like grabbing some spare pencils from my car or getting something to drink, but I only went back to my car to check my cell phone for messages and whatnot. You’re not allowed to take your cell phone into the test center at all; you can be kicked out and have your score canceled for merely having one with you even if it’s off. I figured with as nervous as I was and as bored as I was, I’d probably pull out my phone for no purpose at all. So I decided that it probably wasn’t worth the risk and left it in my car.
I made a bathroom trip on my way back from my car and then decided to just sit and wait. When we finally started taking the test, I was kind of nervous. I mean, there I was, at the very place where months ago was only a small idea in the back of my mind, taking a test that could possibly direct the course for what I do next in life. Overall I think I did well. But whether that’s well enough to get into Oregon Law (or any law school for that matter) is another story. It wasn’t so much that the questions were challenging as it was the number of challenging questions. For each section there’s only 35 minutes to work with, no matter if there are 23 questions or 27. After each section of 35 minutes, we jumped straight to the next with a small break after the third section. It was exhausting.
By the time we got to the writing section, though, my mind was so fixed in the argumentative state that I held no mercy for whatever the opposite view may have been. I stated my case, defended it, and proved the others were flawed to the core. Don’t ask me what I wrote because I don’t really remember, but I know it was amazing!
On the drive home, I felt unburdened. The biggest test of my life thus far was over and done with (depending on well how I did, of course) and I now have nothing but God and the break between spring and summer term to look forward to. Yeah I’ve got a final on Wednesday, but that really doesn’t feel like much in comparison to the LSAT. This term, for several reasons, was the most emotionally-challenging and stressful term I’ve had. The work load wasn’t any more than any other term, but the determination and diligence behind completing the work wasn’t there or at least not as much as it used to be. I have kind of felt lost throughout this term. The future has looked bleak at best and the past seemed to be haunting me at times. Both of these seemed to make the present complicated, but on the drive home today, I realized something. It wasn’t my relatively ambiguous future or the shadows of my past that created anxiety for the present; it was the present that was making me worried and stressed.
What I oftentimes forget is the fact that life is so much more peaceful when I’m walking with God. Yeah there are times where you have to focus on the business of life to take care of responsibilities and such, but never am I supposed to be so wrapped up with them that I forget Who I’m working and living for. That’s why Paul exhorted the Philippians to focus on the prize at the end of the race; because that’s what matters more than the current stage of the race we’re in.
Getting out there on I-5 was actually really therapeutic. I didn’t have my computer in front of me to get lost into and I couldn’t really distract myself with my phone. In short, there was nothing to hide behind. It was just me and God and I loved every minute of it. Why? Because I realized that whatever I’m going to do with the rest of my life will result from the passion I have for God.
The only reason I have any kind of talent at all is because I’ve had a deep, deep passion for God. I’m not saying this is the way it works for everyone because there are plenty of talented people in the world who don’t know Jesus yet. But for me my talents have become what they are because of my relationship with the Lord. I write because several years ago, God placed it on my heart to write to the point where I needed to write. Eventually, I kept writing and He started to really work with it. And I started to see a different side to life, a different way of serving my God, the God that I’ve loved so much. And as I drove home, I realized that the complications I’ve been going through, the crazy, desperate emotions I’ve had, were created not by a blurred tomorrow or a guilt-stained yesterday, but by a faithless today.
I didn’t trust God and therefore I was overwhelmed with worry and doubt, sometimes to the point where I was even trembling. But getting out of the house, out of any kind of routine, and out of my comfort zones, I was able to let go. I was able to see through the futility of my worries and see God my Father with His arms wide open waiting for me to turn around, waiting for me to trust Him again. It’s a joyful thing to trust fully in the living God.
I don’t know how well I did on the LSAT yet and I won’t for another few weeks. But I know that whatever happens, I won’t be dumped by the wayside if I’m serving and trusting and having faith in God. Esther once said, “If I perish, I perish.” Her heart was set on trusting God above the circumstances before her. I think I’m finally starting to understand this. At least I hope so.