by Tom Wacaster
My data mail server recently sent out a “test email” to all of our subscribers which read as follows:
“This is the tech support for Tom's Pen list. Please indulge me with this test message. Just trying to solve some problems. Mailing List Powered by Dada Mail”
Perhaps some explanation is in order. The weekly “Tom’s Pen” that I send out cannot be generated using my AOL account or Yahoo account due to the large number of addresses to which the article is sent. Hence, the need for the “data mail” service from which you received the “test message.” Evidently brother Watkins (my data mail server) saw a need to do some work on the data mail service having to do with my account, and thus the reason why you received the “test e-mail.” Interestingly, a number of you have responded by sending me an email, for which I am grateful; it lets me know that my “subscribers” continue to have an interest in receiving my weekly “Tom’s Pen.” I will not try to respond to each one of you who sent me an email; the list is too long. But I will use the occasion to focus on some lessons we might learn from this “teachable moment” (as some are wont to say).
Tests, for the most part, are an inconvenient part of life. School children do not like to take tests; a patient, prior to proper medical treatment, has to go through what may seem to be a senseless and unending series of tests; the mechanic often has to “test” his work to assure good quality in his craftsmanship. Tests take time, and in some cases a considerable amount of expense is involved. However, most of us will admit that tests are valuable. Who would want to fly in an airplane that had never been tested? Or who would want to enter into surgery without the benefit of all those pesky little “tests” we have to go through? I think we know the answer.
Over the past two or three decades various forms of testing have come under fire by those who would seek to be politically correct. In some circles it is not “politically correct” to give tests to children at school lest we damage their ego and self awareness. Qualifications for a job position have often been compromised and in many instances unqualified personal fill positions at work all because management does not want to “offend” his constituents. The downward spiral of the lack of responsibility among the citizens of this country (or any country) is related in no small way to the unwillingness of leaders to apply the necessary tests in any given circumstance. The results have been (and will continue to be) disastrous.
Spiritually speaking, every soul (saint and sinner alike) must face those “tests” that come our way throughout our life. Job faced some of the most severe tests of life imaginable. You and I are admonished to “prove the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). We are to “try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Cr. 13:5a). We are to “prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:24). You see friend, testing really is an important part of life. We must test every activity, every word, and every thought in the light of God’s word. Only then will be able to stand before the judgment seat of Christ on that great day with the full assurance that we will pass the one great test that will determine our eternal destiny. That, my friend, is a most sobering thought.