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The Final Exam
Witnessing Tools
Thursday, August 30, 2018
J.L. Robb

Life is a test. Have you ever heard that?

The first time I heard that life was a test, I was too young to know exactly what my mom was telling me.

What kind of test? A test for what? Can we study for this test?

I had a blood test yesterday. Seems like I have a lot of those lately, but I am thankful that the laboratories can take that small vial and analyze it. So far in my life, the blood test has detected a cancer that was eliminated because of early detection by my doctor at the VA Hospital; and detected some heart issues. I now love the test I used to hate, and it’s a test you cannot prepare for by studying.

How do we study for the test of life?

In 1973 when I studied genetics, a requirement, I found it to be one of the more difficult courses in the Zoology curriculum. Genetic research was relatively new, though the wonder of genetics can be found in the very first book of the Bible when Jacob is trying to earn his wife, Rachel, by working for her father.

“What shall I give you?” he asked.

“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.”

“Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks. Genesis 30-31-36 NIV

This passage about Jacob’s pursuit of Rachel and the requirements of Laban is all about genetics, though it was not called genetics in those days. It is also interesting that Gene and Genesis start the same way.

As the years have passed since my 1973 genetics course, discoveries have been made. The chimpanzee gene pool is 95% identical to the human genome. Some feel this is strong evidence for evolution until you realize that a fruit fly is 90% the same as a human. Why would 5% make such a difference between chimps and peeps?

Another thing I have figured out about genetics is, there is a lot more we do not know than we do know.

Since studying the writings and beliefs of the Essenes, a group of Jews who moved to the deserts of Israel 2,000 years ago to escape the liberalism of the Pharisees, I have believed that good and evil occurs as a result of genetic makeup.

Good people may have a bit of evil within themselves, but they are mostly good, they love one another. Evil people may have a bit of goodness within themselves, but they are mostly evil, they loathe one another.

A New York Times article in 1986 addressed genetics and personality in the first extensive study of the personalities of identical twins separated at birth and raised by different families.

Personality genetics

The genetic makeup of a child is a stronger influence on personality than child rearing, according to the first study to examine identical twins reared in different families. The findings shatter a widespread belief among experts and laymen alike in the primacy of family influence and are sure to engender fierce debate.

The findings are the first major results to emerge from a longterm project at the University of Minnesota in which, since 1979, more than 350 pairs of twins have gone through six days of extensive testing that has included analysis of blood, brain waves, intelligence and allergies.

Can we change our personalities from good to evil or from evil to good? I do not believe so. I do believe that one can modify their behavior, but the roots are genetic. For example, one who is addicted to alcohol may be able to modify his behavior and stop drinking, but the addiction remains. Once an addict, always an addict. Some have the ability/desire to modify addictive behavior and some do not. Personality.

If life is a test, how do we pass the test?

Meet Wally

Gina, a mother of four children under age ten, became curious, maybe a little cautious, when her daughter suggested she be dropped off at school where the kids could talk to a “cute, old man.”

Part of the story from Gina goes like this:

“When we pulled in to the school she said, ‘Oh no, I forgot! I like you dropping me off at the corner, so I can talk to the cute, little old man. And today I would have had more time! He stands at the steps where you drop me off and encourages all the students as they walk in. He talks about kindness, gives us advice and fist bumps! It’s the best part of the day’.”

When Gina met the 94-year-old Veteran who served in the Korean War, she said her heart melted. If you watch the Meet Wally video above, you will know why. Gina’s facebook page tells more of the wonderful story of a man who has passed life’s test with motivational sayings for the kids, like this:

“Never sweat the petty things, and never pet the sweaty things.”

“Remember, God loves you and so do I.”

If life is a test, what is the reward?

Read the last 2 chapters of Revelation, 21 and 22.

What a great reward there will be for those who believe the story.

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Popes Gone Wild

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