I had submitted my final paper for assessment as part of MBA studies now all I had left was my thesis and I would be done!

I had written thirteen other papers for assessment and was certain I knew the characteristics of a good paper.  I knew this paper wouldn’t earn a distinction but it wouldn’t be far from it either, it would be awarded a merit and with that I would be satisfied.  Imagine my surprise when I got the results and found I earned neither merit nor distinction but merely a passing grade!  My surprise quickly turned to disappointment and in the days following disappointment grew to anger. I was upset because I found the feedback given to explain the deficiencies in my paper completely unjustifiable! My pages were rich with evidence that clearly contradicted my Professor’s comments and I had a responsibility to myself and to the good Professor to highlight the absurdities in these comments.  So that I did, with great expectations that a response akin to an apology would follow and my grade adjusted to reflect the true worth of my work.

My expectations were dashed when the Professor responded with more detailed comments that had gone from being absurd to I dare say fatuous!  By this time I am thoroughly infuriated and followed the natural progression by requesting that my paper be assessed by an external marker.   The fact that my dear friend was awarded a higher grade for her work did nothing to abate my anger but rather served to strengthen my resolve.  Like a true Jamaican I was bent on fervently pursuing justice!

The subsequent email from the Program Administrator at the School of Management of my University incensed me.  His words; “I can see no reason why your mark as awarded will not stand”, ignited within me an anger so palpable it frightened me. I could feel my temperature rise, my chest tighten, beads of sweat  dampened my forehead, shallow breaths escaped my lungs as if on the cusp of life and death.  Utter desperation and worst of all thoughts as unholy as the grave swirled through my mind yearning to find their expression to the faces of academia.

It was at this point, as my anger manifested itself in tears, that I was most frightened. What started out as tears of anger over perceived unjust treatment quickly became tears of frustration and exhaustion with all of life’s demands and in this cocktail of bitter emotions, I was terrified of the person I was.  This was when I cried out to God; why, why was I reacting this way to something that is so trivial in the grand scale of life?  Just then, in perfect timing, with perfect words, like only He  can, God responded through a song on my playlist; “come and rest here come and lay your burdens down I am here”.  As I stumbled into His embrace, no longer concerned about my grade but grimly concerned about my reactions, it became crystal clear that I was assessing my life’s worth with all the wrong instruments.  I had adopted standards that were inherently noble but, woefully inadequate, futile and inapt for assessment of a life that is to be lived in light of eternity.  I was striving to acquire corruptible treasures and lost focus of the work that would stand the final test Matt 6:19-20, 1 Tim 6:18-19.  My compass had shifted off my true North, I was adrift…

It was there in that moment of disappointment and desperation that the presence of God and His inestimable love rescued me from my vanity and aimless wanderings and once again set me on the path of life, to greater works which he had prepared for me to do before the foundations of the earth; Ephesians 2:10.

Thank you Lord!