For those of you who don’t know, I’ve taken up a new project recently.
I made a list of things I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but stopped pursuing or hadn’t pursued. Either because I felt like I would never be able to do it or because I thought I wasn’t capable enough to go after it.
One of those was: To become fluent in Spanish and Japanese.
I’ve been studying Spanish since junior high, high school and all through college, but I have yet to be able to hold a conversation. Japanese was something that always interested me, but I kept hearing how difficult it was to learn it. I was discouraged and would think, “Man, sure would be nice if I could speak it…but that probably won’t happen sooo…”
I finally made up my mind that I will learn Spanish and Japanese. There’s a reason He planted a desire in me to learn languages. Whatever desire or passion the Lord give you He will help you become achieve it. Trust Him and get to work.
So for about the past two or three weeks I have been consistently using my Spanish and Japanese apps, watching teaching videos, taking notes, etc. I dedicated an hour each to learning them (and was planning to increase that time.) I was super thrilled about the slow, yet steady progress I was making…
…then one day as I went to study, God said to me, “That’s great that you’re excited…but where is your passion for Me?”
And the more He asked, the more I began to realize I hadn’t been head-over-heels for God like that in a long time. My relationship with Jesus seemed to have become stale, routine. In a way, it was as if I only had embers where there should have been a fire blazing. Last night it all came to a head when once again I pushed God off for other things,
“I need to go over my lessons now,”
“Oh! I’ve been wanting to watch this show!”
“Man, I’m so tired. I don’t think I’ll be able to study tonig—oh yeah. I told my sister I was going to send her something tonight.” *groan* “Okay then…let me see if I can scrape something together…”
At that very moment, I heard, “You’re empty. How can you pour into someone when there’s nothing left to pour?”
Thoughts popped into my head right after that: you haven’t gotten the book sales you wanted. You’re 28, unemployed and stay at home with your mother. She needs you to contribute and you can’t do anything.
It occurred to me I was determined to accomplish something, even if it meant being able to speak another language, because in every other aspect of my life I felt like a failure. As I talked to God about this, I recall saying, “God…! I have to at least be able to do this because I haven’t been able to succeed at anything else I’ve done!”
And then…came those reminders…
When I told Him I didn’t think I’ve ever achieve anything, “I will succeed and accomplish my goals.”
When I said to Jesus that it felt like I wouldn’t be able to do it, “I CAN do it and I CAN LEARN how to do it.”
I started to say I was too old and I waited too long to do something constructive with my life, but I didn’t get that far because He stopped me with, “My age will not hinder me.”
Finally God had me say the last two reminders to myself, “I will not obsess over my problems…I will be patient and trust God NO MATTER WHAT.” Then He asked, “What happened to you being patient and waiting on Me? What happened to you TRUSTING Me?”
I had become so desperate to reach my idea of success that I completely forgot the most important thing: I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need and His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus is everything that I need. He was all I ever needed and He is going to be the one to get me where I need to be. The truth is, God doesn’t care if I can speak three languages or twenty; all He wants to know is if I have a heart for Him and if I am willing. Jesus Christ has to be my priority before all else in my life.
The same One who created all the different languages is the same One who can help me acquire a new one for His Kingdom.
But how can you know where God is leading you or what He has for you if you’ve never studied for yourself? How can you distinguish His voice from your own if you aren’t spending time in His Word? The Bible is a powerful tool; the same time and energy I put into learning Spanish and Japanese is the same time and energy I have to put into Christ.
Don’t get so tangled up in all the little things that you forget all about the main thing: your relationship with God. It’s good to have dream and ambitions, because again, the Lord gave them to us. We just can’t allow ourselves to become so blinded by our desires we forget to keep our focus on Him.