Kirkland’s Conscience

     The thing Kirkland wanted more than anything else in the world was to go to college.  He had been planning on it ever since he was in grade school.  He had studied hard all through elementary school and high school.  Always he had done well.

     Now, at last he had almost reached his goal.  Kirkland does not live in the United States, and in his country it is very important for a high school student to pass a certain examination if he wants to go to college.

     Kirkland was ready to take that highly important exam.

     Then, just one week before the exam, his teacher announced, “The examination will be next Saturday.”

     For a moment Kirkland felt as if he had been hit over the head.  And then hope returned.  Surely the examination would not be give on Saturday only.  There would be another day when students could take it.

     After class he went up to the teacher and explained that he could not take the exam on Saturday.  It would be against his conscience.

     “Nonsense!” the teacher exclaimed. 
Of course you can take the exam on Saturday.  Everyone else can, you can too.”

     That was that.  The teacher left, and Kirkland walked home in despair.

     Would God help him?  Heaven’s help was his only hope.  He prayed that night, and the next morning he went to school hoping the teacher would tell him he could take the test another time.  But the teacher said nothing about it.

     Kirkland prayed on Tuesday night.  How he prayed!  And on Wednesday he talked to the teacher again.

     The teacher responded the same way he had the first time.  “Ridiculous!” he snorted.  “I never heard anything so foolish in my life.”

     “But, sir, I cannot come on Saturday.  It is God’s Sabbath, and I go to Church then.”

     The teacher looked at him.  “Tell me, boy, would you rather take this examination on Saturday and maybe win a scholarship to college, or attend church and miss all chance?”

     “Sir,” said Kirkland, “I would rather go to church.”

     The teacher waved a hand in disgust, and Kirkland knew the conversation was over.  What should he do?  It was so very important to pass this examination.  Perhaps it would be all right to take it on Sabbath, just this once.

     Kirkland put the idea out of his mind, and that evening he went to prayer meeting.  There he had the happiest surprise of his life.

     The pastor said, “Kirkland, your teacher got in touch with me today.  He asked me if it really was necessary for you to go to church on Saturday.  Of course I told him it was.  Kirkland, the chief inspector of education has arranged for a special time for you to take the examination.  You may stay with me all day Saturday; you must not be out of my sight for a moment.  Then, you may take the test in the evening after sunset.”

     And that is how it all turned out.  Once again, when a boy honored God.  God honored him.

L. Maxwell