Life Is a Story, Not a Test

8 Sep
This is Not a Test.  (From

This is Not a Test. (From

Before I started to become a teacher, I studied liberation theology and considered becoming a minister.  Before that, I studied to become a poet.  I resent the fact that capitalism makes us choose ; I want to continue to teach, to contemplate the divine, and to write poems, without having to make any of these my career.   I want  these things to be my life, not my labor.  So on this quiet sabbath morning, here is a poem I wrote about God refusing to give standardized tests.




Life is a Story, Not a Test


When we were good or bad

Kids in school

We thought of God as a teacher

Who would give us short amounts of life

To study

Then subject us

To a standardized test

When we die

To see if we can pass on

To the afterlife

Or burn in



God had to make the test standardized,

To be fair

So there would be no retakes

If we miss the test

For any reason

Including illness, attention deficit, or joy


– Unless we beg for it-

Then God would always allow it

A boring number of times


Now we see that we have our whole lives

To study


But when he died

(On the cross)

God refused to test us


So now we just pass on

If our lives end up

Becoming stories

That others want to read


Even if they’re just God

And even if God is just


A character

In our



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