As a language teacher in four Asian countries, I have seen a great variety of students. I’m often asked ‘where are the best ones?’ I can only say there are both hard-working and lazy students in every class I’ve ever taught. The more significant question is ‘why are they learning English?'
We hear countless explanations for why one person catches on quicker, easier, and more accurately than another. But so often, there is a lack of visible purpose. It need not be a lofty translation of an ancient story or interpreting at the UN. Learning the rules of a game, reading a recipe, taking part in a play, buying train tickets, or talking to a neighbor are all valid activities with their own purpose. All are steps to mastering a foreign language.
“I cry out to God most high, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2
As a believer, I read, hear, and sing about being holy, unified, prayerful, forgiven, obedient, worshipful, and you can add to the list. But frequently, I am like the students who only talk of writing a novel in two languages but don’t have a plan for practicing their pronunciation or increasing their vocabulary. They fail to see how one leads to the other.
Similarly, I want to share my faith through the daily world of a college campus. I want to see those around me changed by the power of the Gospel. Of course. But each morning when I wake up, do I check my phone first or speak to God? Neighbors have wondered why some people eat pork. Have I prayerfully thought through how I might answer? What am I reading or watching? Can I really sing about God’s forgiveness if I rarely ask for it? There are so many daily steps He uses to fulfill His purpose. Am I taking the right ones?
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
What are some steps you could take today?