Thursday was the big day of the test. We had studied and memorized and meditated until our very dreams were full of the Bible Bee (ask me about Genesis 17 and the interstate). However, Nationals still didn't feel like a competition. Everyone realizes that--even though all will not receive monetary awards--we have all been blessed by our study of God's Word.
I don't have much to say about the actual test. The written test was easy (compared to the brutal local one), but the oral test on my memory verses was much more difficult. I got to recite one of my favorite Nationals passages (Genesis 48:14-16), but I also had to say Proverbs 31:1-8, which is always awkward at best. Delie and Anna also had to say an unusual one--Proverbs 30:1-4. Afterward, Anna told me that she had started giggling when she got to the "surely I am too stupid to be a man" part. It's hard to blame her! After the oral test we waited in "the jail", otherwise known as the Family Fun Room, until we were released. Since I was a Senior, this wasn't until around three o'clock, so we spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing and visiting with Mamie and Big George (my grandparents) who came up for the night.
Thursday night we gathered again for the opening ceremony, a time of celebration and thanksgiving. I love this part of nationals because, although the semi-finalists are announced, the emphasis is not on the competition but on the Lord and His goodness and grace.
After lining up with our age divisions, each contestant...
|Anna waiting in line|
walked down the aisle...
|Delie and Mr. W.|
received a medal...
|Joy with the Senior Division (I'm second to the end)|
...and stood with their division.
Then we all went back to our families and enjoyed a Scripture presentation from Mr. Tim McKenzie and music from the Wissmans. I was having so much fun, I forgot the climax of the of the evening--the announcing of the top fifteen in each division. These semi-finalists got to compete again on Friday, this time on stage. Delie, Anna, and I did not advance, but we knew many people who did, and the next best part to being a semi-finalist is cheering on your friends who are!
Exhausted and exhilarated--I know that those two words don't go together, but that's just how I would sum up Nationals--we returned to our hotel room to enjoy the vacation aspect of the Bible Bee.