Of PSLE and all other dreaded exams

The PSLE examinations and results can be a forbidding hurdle that both parents and children have to navigate. It is a stressful time for all. Everyone prays and works and hopes for the best. We hope our child will manage to get at least into the express stream. We would even accept the normal stream, and hope he gets into the express stream soon after. We get elated or secretly disappointed if our prayers were not granted.

However, life goes on and reality sets in, and sooner or later we realize that God loves all his children, but they are not equally gifted for academic rigours and demands. Sooner or later we will accept that our children have different kind of intelligences and gifts and we perhaps begin to stumble into a more sane view that life will present unequal economic rewards to people with different talents and opportunities. Some of our children will grow to be adults and surprise us, for despite their academic qualifications, they out-earn the scholars. But is earnings the bottom line that frames our perspective of success? Then how different are we from the worldly minded?

Let me put it to you that God’s purpose in creating us is so that we may glorify God and serve and enjoy Him forever. Staying in this zone is what makes us truly “successful”. You can earn a lot and be highly qualified but yet live a life that disregards God’s purpose. This is a failed life. Or you can be a PSLE failure but live a life of faithful service and fellowship with God. This is the fulfilled life. The one essential thing is whether you fulfilled God’s purpose of glorifying Him and serving people with your God-given talents and opportunities.

Our job as parents is not just PSLE and all the other exam hoops our children have to jump through. It is guiding our children to discover their God-given abilities and to use them for serving people and for His glory. It is imparting the values of service, contentment and God-centeredness to them. As for PSLE and “O” and “A” levels, we do our best to support our children, and discover more about ourselves and our children. Shalom.

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