July 10, 2011
Tests in Life: Reflection of an Insignificant Experience
In times of trouble when things seem too hard to bear, I got this quote of a passage in the Holy Quran.
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” (Surah Al Baqarah, 286)
Indeed. Wise words indeed, no less of what one may expect from The Creator.
But there are times when things are just so hard, that those words seem so far from truth, and we fail. Well, some would call it as a delayed success. Others, who are learned in the arts of Neuro Linguistics Programming, would say that there is no such thing as failure, only results: thus only two possibilities which are positive results or feed backs. There are many ways to make us feel better, so that we can get back on our feet again.
Sometime in my past, I had an interesting experience. It is not that of a great significance, yet it gave a great lesson. Here goes.
It was back in 2005, sometime in August or September, I have forgotten. Monday, 9 AM, I rushed to campus for my very first class in university level. I entered the building of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Gadjah Mada University as fast as I can, because I was already two minutes late by the time I got to the gates.
It was a class to be conducted in chamber M 9, where I will study Basics to Physics I. This is very important for so many reasons. It was my very first class in university life, it was the basic knowledge of (what I thought would be) my education life as I was majoring Physics, and it would be taught by Professor Muslim –a very prominent figure in the world of Theoretical Physics, which field I planned to pursuit (however I moved to Law School of UGM in 2007, around the time Prof Muslim passed away also).
Almost out of breath, I took the front seat in the class. I looked around, and was startled. Nobody seemed to give a damn of me being late, in fact, everyone sit very far apart from each other which was not an image I imagined about university. There were two dudes infront, mid-aged, but did not have any professor-like look. So, which one of them is Prof Muslim, if any at all were him? Why isnt anyone teaching, and what is everyone doing?
One of the dudes gave me two pieces of paper. One was an empty sheet, the other was a problem paper. A pre test, I thought. Perhaps was for testing our prior knowledge.
Crapping hell. The only thing I could fill in was: Name, Date, Class, and signature. I dont understand anything written on the paper. But then I checked again. It was an examination for Electrodynamics, which I found out later on was a class to be taken by final year students.
It turned out that class was to be postponed for a week, and was spread out by chain-sms. I didn’t get the SMS. Not the only one, actually, but I somehow didnt meet anyone else. So what I came to was an examination of the short semesters.
A stupid story, I know. But then, I found that I could put a useful meaning to that event.
If I kept on trying to do that exam, I will fail. Badly. And more than that, it would not be accounted for anything.
The only way I could have gone through that exam, was to realize that this exam was not mine to take. The real test at the time was whether or not I was stupid enough to pursue that test.
The reward for passing that test, was that I did not need to overburden myself with stress not at all giving me any benefit. Simple, not much, and insignificant.
But the lesson I took in life from that incident was quite big.
Sometimes we could be in pursuit of something which is beyond our abilities, and is simply not ours to take. Perhaps its something that truthfully we dont desire but pursuit for other -usually ridiculous- motives, or we are unaware that we are taking a very wrong step to achieve our goal, or, of course, sometimes its just plain stupid.
And therefore perhaps we should consider that sometimes the test presented to us is not to solve what we have at hand, but to stop solving the problem at hand, cast it aside, and look somewhere else.