No Meaning In Themselves

I took the GRE today. Grrrrrrrrrr.  Yeah, cheesy I know, but it says it well.  I saw this picture once, and it immediately came to mind as I stepped out of the testing center today.

I’m the one on the right, if you hadn’t guessed.  I left the test frustrated, again, that I’m not a math whiz.  Why did Uncle Roy get all the genius genes?!?  It’s like that children’s book Rainbow Fish where he has no friends because he won’t share his sparkling scales.  I’m one of the jealous friends.  Won’t he share one of his sparkling scales with me?  But I’ve felt God assuring me that He’s given me different gifts.  It may sound like a cop-out line, but I’m truly feeling comforted by it because I believe it to be true.

This reminds me of a lecturer at L’Abri, Ellis Potter, who spoke about this concept in different terms (specifically in reference to how we read the Bible): the well and the story.  The “well” meaning a mentality that soaks up every word to the core, and the “story” as more analysis driven.  The well as subjective and the story as objective.  No doubt that lecture stirred up fiery debate.  People were outraged that “wife” and “husband” were put into the categories, but I liked the overall message.  Ellis Potter said that we need BOTH the well and the story.  Alone, they’re not good.  Together, they are.  They have no meaning in themselves; it is the relationship that is meaningful.  I even wrote this in my notes, “The question, ‘Which brain would you rather have?’ is evil.”  Boy do I feel convicted….even in this blog post I see myself being defensive.  And I DON’T DESIRE that.  I desire both.  I definitely lean towards one side (don’t we all?), but I should be more open to the other side too.  We need both.

In an effort to balance out the GRE, I’m thinking of suggesting a more right-brained section of the test.  Like maybe one where you’d have to leave the test carrell, step outside, and paint a picture for a timed 30 minutes.  Well, maybe no timer.  I don’t know what we’d do if the weather didn’t cooperate.  Maybe it could be something besides painting, like putting on a play…in 30 minutes….by yourself…???…okay, so it might not work.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.


2 thoughts on “No Meaning In Themselves

  1. What an enormously positive way to examine a strange and somewhat disturbing experience. I really think that the GRE is an antediluvian test meant only for people like me over 60 who were brought up on slide rules and long division instead of calculators. What silliness. I picture a room full of old geezers and gals in a room plotting the next exam, sort of like the control room of cloud monitors in the award-winning children’s book, Sector 7, that we read recently, who try to stop the boy from designing clouds of rich shapes and forms as sea creatures. Nobody can stop you from being creative in the way God has created you, Lisbeth! Nobody! I’ll calm down now.

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