We're in the classroom of life. There's a test going on. There are some things about this test that are important to know:
1. It's mandatory. You can pretend you're not taking it. But you are.
2. It's a take-home test.
3. It's an open-book test. You can use your Bible. You can read every sacred text ever written. You're lucky -- sort of. You're living in the 21st century, and you can search an incredible trove of wisdom. (But there's also an endless assortment of distracting stuff, too.)
4. This is one of those tests where you can get help from friends and advisors - like a game show where you can call an expert.
5. It's a true/false test. Some of the ideas you'll be offered are false. Some are true. You'll need to think carefully.
6. It's iterative. You get plenty of tries -- quizzes and feedback from the teacher -- along the way. The teacher will even give you the answers. And, no one is counting how many times you get it wrong if you eventually start getting it right.
7. You have your whole life to take it, but eventually there IS a deadline. When your physical body is dead, that's the line. Note: The teacher recommends against procrastinating.
8. It's not graded on a curve. It's you vs. the test, not you vs. your peers. And everyone has different versions of the test.
9. You get to choose your own grade!
10. How much pressure is there? You know how people like to say, "no pressure"? Well... they usually say that when there actually is some pressure. This is similar. There's not debilitating pressure. But there IS an enabling kind of pressure.
11. This is a very deep test; probably a lot deeper than it seems at first. You will be hindered by unseen, unexpected adversaries. But you'll also be helped by unseen angels.
12. The teacher has office hours 24/7/365. He wants you to pass with flying colors. He has a tow rope operating, all the time. He doesn't care - at all - whether you have a PhD or never passed kindergarten. He just wants you to grab hold of the tow rope and do what it takes to hang on.