Alright, there's something wrong with blogspot cuz I can't add pictures to my posts. But just as well. I guess it'll simplify things a whole lot.
I've just got so much to thank the Lord for. It's been an amazing past 3 days or so.
Driving on 27 July 2009. Yeah, I didn't tell many people. Didn't want to like go in with so many people knowing as in the first time, when I failed. Many reasons. One thing is that when we need to have a need met, does it really make a difference to send out a mass sms or email for prayer? I guess most of us, myself included, would just say a short, perfunctory prayer. So yes, my family of course knew and prayed. As well as Jesh, Caleb, Lowell... maybe a couple others.
One of the many things I've learnt from this episode is truly what difference it makes to honour the Lord and to trust Him as my Source. You see, one of the things I've been learning lately is that we don't have multiple sources, only one. Let's say for myself, who do I look to for monetary needs for example? There's government handouts once in a while, there's a job I take once in a while, there's the occassional generous hongbao... etc. But these are all just mediums or channels through which my One Source meets my needs. Therefore when I lose a job, or stop receiving handouts, I am not one source short. I have only one source, God.
I truly believe that the reason I passed this time round was that I honoured God more than the last time. The last time I'm quite ashamed to say that my walk with God was not in order (which I suppose is quite obvious given my less-than-satisfactory response to failure). This time, after the first failure and a few more knocks here and there, I quite got the idea that I needed to get right with God again. 3 John 2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER and BE IN HEALTH, EVEN AS THY SOUL PROSPERETH" Suffice it to say that my soul was not prospering.
So down to the details. You shall see why I technically did not deserve to pass, but God was so gracious and merciful to supply all my needs according to His glorious riches.
I get into the car. Tester starts to make many comments a few minutes into the test. Keeps saying that I'm too cautious, that I should go faster. etc etc. Then I strike kerb at crank course (I always just have to do that in tests man, I seldom get that in practice). Require reverse manouevre. (Okay at this moment the tester's still quite kind, guiding me a bit). So, dear drivers, how many points already?
Then a few minutes later, just as I'm about to turn out and begin and exit from the circuit, tester makes a inconclusive wave to the right. I'm not sure exactly what he wants, so I ask and he's like "overtake lah". But then he changes his mind and tells me to stop. Behind this other car on test about to attempt a parallel parking. And then he pulls the handbrake and I'm like "???".
So this car backs up.
Into my car.
Correction, my instructor's car.
Giving him a nice little dent to add to his collection of dents.
And then the 2 testers get out and begin to argue for about 5 minutes, while I pray and wonder what's going to happen next. Then my tester kind of throws up his arms and goes "(other tester's name) ah, I don't want to argue with you lah, both fail lah, both fail". He comes into my car, tells me that both have failed. And I'm a little pissed, cuz obviously it's not my fault.
"Mr Foong, you didn't react when the other car knocked into your car. You should have reacted to avoid an accident"
"Uncle, but you pull the handbrake, I cannot react what. You pull the handbrake means you want me to stop, I cannot react mah"
And so we argue all the way to the chief tester. So much so that I almost swing into the wrong lane on the way back to tester's office. Heh. (That would potentially have been an immediate failure, the 3rd action that could have possibly failed me at that point).
Go up, still kinda arguing. I'm getting more and more pissed. And the tester goes
"You already have 12 points. Very slim chance of passing. Might as well try another day."
So I sit there at the desk, contemplating a failure and talking to God. And I'm saying something like. "Eh God, fail again ah. Eh why always like that sia. Why always you don't want to help me... You trying to give me a re-test on "How To Cope With Failure In A Godly Manner 101" is it? Okay... but I really don't know how I'm going to respond to this ah, I tell you first. I said I'll honour you no matter what, but I made that promise to you with the understanding that you better give me the strength and ability to honour you if I fail cuz obviously I was unable to the first time".
And then I overhear the tester's superior (okay, by this time I have argued until the tester is probably too pai seh that he's the one who pulled the handbrake, so he's telling his superior something like, "This Foong failed because of an accident, but not his fault, it's the other car's fault") and the superior is going "Not his fault then you should just take him out on the road and continue with the test lah.
I go like "Eh God... not bad ah You"
TY 1 , Tester 0.
So tester is still not convinced, goes in to see the chief tester.
TY 2 , Tester 0.
I was just sitting there in silence in the presence of God and watching Him work.
So I go down with the tester, and then we have to call my instructor to bring the car back so I can continue with my test.
Met Jeshua on the way, he'd just taken his FTT. I only had enough time to signal to him to pray. And honestly, I was very glad he was around. To have a friend you've known and fought beside since kindy days just be present was quite something I am very grateful to God for.
So I go on with my test. I jam brake at an amber light (I don't know why, perhaps too tired), crossing the white line. If I had hit the pedestrian crossing, immediate failure. How many times could I have gotten an immediate failure at this point in time?
How many points?
14. 4 to spare.
Then the tester says that I didn't check blind spot, and then nags me on a few other things, which I don't really remember.
Then he says I didn't look out for traffic at a junction.
My green life-bar turns to yellow and flickers.
So at this point I'm like, "alright, Lord, common sense says that I've probably failed by now. So many errors he's just pointed out. I'm probably 24 or 26 points by now. Uh... quite interesting Lord, the way you're conducting this whole affair"
I'm just very quiet all the way from parking the car at the test centre to following the tester up. On retrospect I think the main difference between this time and the first would be that I was just silently hopeful. Hopeful not that I might pass because of luck or anything else. But hopeful because I had come to learn that God is in control of everything. He is the only source. If we really do believe what our bible says, we would really live in such a way that we understand we are never held hostage by anything in any situation, because God is in total control. We are always kept within the mighty hands of God, who's safety no one can snatch us out of, and interestingly, in certain circumstances, who's wrath no man can deliver from.
So I sit down and I reflect, as my tester takes his time. I don't even want to say anything. I'm just silently hopeful, knowing that there is still hope for me, that I'm in the hands of God.
"Mr Foong, let's go through your list of mistakes (he lists them down, ticks the paper). Okay, please improve on (one whole long list of stuff). Okay, so I'll pass you, but please improve on.... etc"
Actual information being filtered to my brain as he debriefed me:
"Mr Foong, lalala. Please lalala. Lalalala. Lalalalala. Lalala. I'll pass you. But please lalalala. Lalala"
Wow God. Thanks. I don't quite know what to say.
Yup, so I make my way home. And I'll blog on Crusade Camp in a separate post, to spare the reader the agony of reading the whole post at one shot.
But really, thank God. No one can save as He saves. No one can deliver as He delivers. With style. And in a way that just clearly says, "look, it's really not your hand, my child, but mine".