Every academic test I have ever taken has opened with a professor/proctor saying, “You may now begin.”
Sitting there before I take the test, my mind is racing, trying to re-access all the sections of my brain where I stored the information for this test. My stomach is doing summersaults and my hands are clammy.
Yet when the professor says those four little words, all of that fades away and peace settles over me.
I have studied. I know what I’m doing. This information is all in my head, it’s just a matter of getting it onto the paper in front of me.
Besides, I know something that isn’t on this test. The sentence “You may now begin” implies that this test is the beginning of something. But really the beginning happened long ago and without that beginning I wouldn’t be able to begin the test. The beginning happened when I walked into that class for the first time.
But even that wasn’t really the beginning. That beginning was when I came to college, and that’s was when I went to high school. I could keep going, but you get the picture. Every beginning is just a continuation of another beginning.
And if you keep going back far enough, in the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God and was God, and in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God spoke out into the nothingness and told the universe, “You may now begin,” and a million billion stars spun into existence.
And 20 years ago Jesus took my messy life, wiped away my old self, breathed into me a new creation and said, “You may now begin.” And every day He gives me new mercy and allows me to begin again and again and again.
Professors can keep telling me I can begin their silly little tests, and I will keep smiling to myself. I can now begin.
Every Friday we silence the inner critics and simply write. For 5 minutes, we mute the voices that tell us we are not enough and we pour forth our souls. And it is beautiful. Join us?