“Is This Gonna Be On The Test?”
December 13, 2018
by Ken Jones
During the 2016 presidential debates, one of the big “scandals” of that season was the discovery that one of the candidates may have known beforehand some of the questions that would be asked during one particular debate. That’s, of course, problematic. It’s a lot easier to answer a question you anticipate or know is going to asked, if you have time to think about it ahead of time, especially if your opponent doesn’t have the same advantage.
There’s another reason knowing “what’s on the test” is helpful. When my third grade teacher announced to our class, “This will be on your test on Friday, so make sure you study it,” I knew not only what I needed to study, but in some ways, I knew what NOT to study. If something wasn’t going to be on the test, why on earth would I want to study it? (In the third grade, that made perfect sense to me.)
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we’re all faced with is that we have no idea ahead of time the kinds of questions we may be confronted with as we navigate life. Where shall I go? Who shall I marry? When should I retire? How do I define success? What’s the best way for me to help my children? How do I slow down? Thousands of questions present themselves over the course of a lifetime, many of them without clear-cut answers attached.
In his book The Soul of Shame (Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves), Curt Thompson, MD, noted that if we, as humans, don’t know the answer to a question in life with some feeling of certainty, we are vulnerable to a kind of “nervous shame.” If I don’t know the right answer, how can I keep from giving the wrong answer and revealing my ignorance? He writes:
“Shame takes advantage of this (uncertainty) by driving us toward ‘certainty,’ in order to protect us from our anticipated humiliation at being mistaken. The more I can know on my own (and not reveal my vulnerable ignorance), the less likely I will be shamed in the process, or so I think. But if we are open to the ideas of probability and possibility and movement as being opportunities for new discoveries, we are opening ourselves to ideas that spring right out of the Genesis account of creation. These ideas speak of a God of action, not stasis. A God who asks open-ended questions such as ‘Where are you?’ not merely questions with one right answer.”
One of the reasons I love the tool of coaching is that it provides a framework for addressing the challenges of life. Coaches give opportunity for asking great, open-ended questions—questions that will promote discovery, movement and change. Coaching is about ACTION, not stasis. And engaging in the coaching process can provide an avenue for addressing some of the imponderables that, sure enough, end up on the testing ground we call…life.
Why not start 2019 by engaging one of our certified coaches who specialize in coaching Christian doctors? An investment in your future. And yes, an investment in…you.