There can be wisdom in the unorthodox. I have always loved the following illustration for its simplicity, thoroughness, and sagacity. It's not just about this young "candidate" is it? No, who among us cannot learn how to be more submissive? How difficult is it for us to deny ourselves. For those who've read this before, I hope it comes with a renewed interest. God humble us.
At 3:00 A.M. one cold morning a missionary candidate walked into an office for a scheduled interview with the examiner of a mission board. He waited until 8:00 A.M. when the examiner arrived.
The examiner said, “Let us begin. First, please spell baker.”
“B-a-k-e-r,” the young man spelled.
“Very good. Now, let’s see what you know about figures. How much is twice two?”
“Four,” replied the applicant.
“Very good,” the examiner said. “I’ll recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed. You have passed the test.”
At the board meeting the examiner spoke highly of the applicant and said, “He has all the qualifications of a missionary. Let me explain.
“First, I tested him on self-denial. I told him to be at my house at three in the morning. He left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint.
“Second, I tried him out on punctuality. He appeared on time.
“Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me, after telling him to come at three.
“Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any sign of it; he didn’t even question my delay.
“Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a small child could answer, and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements and will make the missionary we need.”
Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996).