We get tested every day.
I know I do. Now that I see what’s going on.
And most of the time, I fail these tests.
It might be a test of generosity.
What happens is that you are confronted with a situation that tests your reaction.
Will you act out of love, or out of fear?
Which often manifests in anger or contraction.
Greed is contraction.
Selfishness is contraction.
Someone cuts in front of you while you’re driving. Do you yell and honk your horn and curse? Or do you react with calmness, and wonder what sort of a horrible day that driver must be having. Or why they might be so impatient. And you hope their day improves.
That’s a test.
Someone in a shop treats you rudely. You’re Asian. Or an ethnic minority. You immediately feel that they’re treating you disrespectfully. They’re being tacitly racist.
You raise your voice.
They raise their voice.
Soon you are both shouting.
You failed the test.
Instead, perhaps you could have responded with understanding and kindness. Perhaps the shopkeeper wasn’t being racist at all, but was just having a bad day. Perhaps they have personal problems. Perhaps he or she is feeling enormous pressure from their bank, or maybe their child is sick, or their landlord is forcing them out of the building.
If you’d responded with a smile, and with understanding, you might have made their day a little better for them.
If you look at these everyday incidents and situations as tests, put in front of you to give you an opportunity to grow, then suddenly the world becomes a lot more interesting.
And a lot more interactive!
Here’s the thing – if you fail the test, they will test you again. And again. And again. You will be given many more other opportunities to grow. Because that’s why you were incarnated into this lifetime. That’s your purpose here. You think it’s to pay off your mortgage and ride around in a nice car and have dinner parties where you trot out your vintage wines and tell everyone about your last trip to Venice?
It’s more than that.
Some of us go through our lives continually failing our tests.
Some of us gradually “get it,” and pass the test, or tests.
I had a situation last week where I was tested. I only realised later, after I failed.
I got a phone call from a young lady asking me to take wedding photos. I don’t usually do wedding photos – only for friends, which I do for free – but I have a website saying that I’m available for this kind of work, and a lot of people get married in the town where I live – Mudgee – and so it’s something I do on the side, if I’m in the country.
My rate starts at $2K. This young lady told me that she and her fiancé were on a tight budget, and that she had contacted another photographer who had told her he would do it for $800. She had contacted me though, she said, because she loved my portfolio.
She said that they were so short of money that they would pay me week by week, because her fiancé was on unemployment benefits.
I told her I would do it for $1K – half my normal rate, but still $200 more than she was hoping to pay. But she seemed happy with my quote, and said she’d get back to me.
I never heard from her again.
I should have done it for her for free.
If they were doing it that tough, I really should have done it for free. It’s no big deal for me. And they would have had great wedding pics. It was only later that I realised it was a test of my generosity of spirit, and I had failed.
But in a sense, I’d also passed.
Because in realising it was a test, and realising I’d failed, I’d taken the first step towards passing the next time I’m tested.
That’s the thing about these tests. They will keep coming at you until you realise, and in realising, you hope that you will be more self-aware next time around, and you will pass.
And then you will be given another new test!