The Day I Decided to Cheat

I was never really good with Math. Whenever I see numbers on my test paper, I’d get instant headaches. So when I took my final exams in Statistics course, I was in a major spiritual crisis. I will never forget what happened that day. It was late in the afternoon, I was alone in my dorm room profusely sweating as I nervously took my old scientific calculator from the drawer and started scribbling the formulas at the back cover using pencil. I sighed a faint prayer of fake repentance while Jaci Velasquez was singing “I Get On My Knees” in the background. I didn’t want to listen to the song but I didn’t want to stop the player either.

After I copied the formulas, I neatly tucked the calculator inside my bag and started out of the door when I realized that I needed to say at least a little prayer. It was very unnerving. How do you ask God to bless your cheating? How do you say “Let me cheat just this one time, I’m sorry, bless me anyway and please don’t hold this against me?”

After so much hesitation, I went back inside, sat in my bed for a minute and mumbled, “Lord… ” Minutes passed and I was still speechless. I couldn’t form the words. I wanted to just get up and go but part of me remembered how Esau lost his birthright for a plate of food.

Jaci Velasquez’s song was still ringing in my head. “When I close my eyes, no darkness there; there’s only light… I get on my knees…”

Slowly, I took the calculator from my bag, ripped the cover apart, dropped it in my study table and went out of the door to face the dreaded numbers in my Statistics exam. I was a bit teary eyed as I walked into the exam room, not because I was going to fail but because I it was a difficult decision that I had to make.

As I quietly settled into my chair, I looked around the quite room to see how my classmates were doing. They had a uniform grim look on their faces. Then something caught my eyes. There on the white board in front of us I saw random formulas our professor wrote for us. The formulas had no names. The trick was for us to identify which one to use for the specific problems in the exam. Those were the same random formulas I wrote in the cover of my calculator.

I felt a lump on my throat as I silently said a prayer of thanks.