Today finally arrived.
It was the day I had waited for and had been working towards all week. It was test day.
Last night Diane and I studied through some material one final time until she fell asleep on the couch at the late hour of 9:30ish. I had spent the afternoon lightly reviewing and felt ready, so off to bed we went at 10:30 or so.
5:30 arrived bright and early with my phone alarm going off and the simultaneous smiles of Teddy and Carmel (who are always excited to greet a new day!). I did the shower thing, ate, prayed with Diane and headed to the city at 6:45 when my chauffeur, Joe arrived.
We made good time. I studied some on the way. We chatted. Then we arrived at the once thriving mall now turned business/office complex building. It's a tired looking place.
We found the entrance and off I went to take my test. The people in the office were nice while trying not to be routine. The girl who helped me was mostly excited about the Christmas party and Dirty Santa game they were going to play later in the afternoon, but she worked me through the process fairly quickly. Her singing country Christmas songs along to the CD that was playing was a...bonus.
Okay, so put your stuff down, go in the room with your calculator, pencil and scratch paper that we give you, log into the computer and take the test. You have three hours. You can go to the bathroom once. And turn off your cellphone, thank you very much.
I go to the room, open the door and (short hallelujah to God for listening this morning) the room is empty! I sit down at the computer the lady points me to, start scribbling like crazy everything I can remember that I have learned about real estate over the last three weeks on my scratch paper and then log-in and start.
This test had 130 questions drawn from a bank of 1,000. I felt good about 3/4 of them and unsure of the rest. So I marked those questions I was unsure of and went back over them after working through all the questions. Then I went back over the entire test again. I was bound and determined to pass this sucker - I would not be denied by 1 measly percent this time. No sir, I wasn't driving back to the City to do this again. No way!
So I finished up the test, felt very good - like I had passed it and hit the submit button.
The super fast computer program wasn't super fast. It was super so-so as it calculated my performance and worth in the world (you know what I mean, right?). When it finished up, I walked out to find the singing country Christmas music lady gathering my results from the printer. She smiled and said, "Congratulations on passing your test, Mr. Haywood." Note, she called me Mr. Haywood - a sure sign that my worth was way up there!
I could tell she was impressed. I could tell she would want me to sell her a house should the occasion arise. I thought she might yell out to everyone in the office that this very cool guy standing in front of her was simply amazing and that they should come and stand in his presence...OOPS BACK TO REALITY AND OUT OF THE PIPE DREAM I WAS HAVING...
She handed me the papers and promptly asked for money for another fee (one of many to come). She then sent me to the front where I checked out with the receptionist.
I can't really convey to you in these words how pleased I am to have passed this test. In a spiritual way of looking at things, I see it as confirmation of God's hand on this crazy plan we're pursuing.
Lunch was my treat. Cheesecake factory. Lets just say expensive decadence!
The trip home was much lighter than the trip over. Hmm, funny how that works, huh?
So, this afternoon I made phone calls that will further my career and get me going. And I made a very important phone call - really one that is what this whole thing is all about in my life. I talked to my dad about sitting down with the elders in the church where he attends. It's my home church in Little Rock. It's not doing well and is in danger of going away if somebody doesn't do something. So over Christmas we're going to sit down and talk about the situation to see if the remaining leadership is open to a new church plant or work using the existing building and support of the congregation.
Please pray for this church as I talk with them. It's my hope and intention to be used by God in a capacity such as this to help churches (and in other ways like preaching too). I'm hoping the real estate will not only pay our bills, but will bring in enough money to support projects like this (at least my involvement in them).
I'll let you know how the talk goes after Christmas.
In the meantime, it's time to catch up on Christmas shopping. I'm way behind!
PS - Here's one question from the test. See if you can answer this one...
There's a 1988 discrimination act. Who, under this act, can you discriminate against?
A. Someone who is blind
B. Someone who is in a wheelchair
C. An alcoholic
D. A current drug user
I'm fairly sure I missed this question. If you know the right answer, I'd like to know!