By Glenn and Wendy Lorenz, Costa Rica
Have you ever had to do something that you were really not very good at?
Like learning to ride a bike?
What moved you from wanting to ride a bike and actually riding a bike?
Grit is doing what is difficult now because you desire to achieve a future goal. In Spanish class, a few weeks ago, my teacher asked me (in Spanish, of course) what was our purpose for being here. I said it was to learn Spanish, another girl said it was to share the love of Jesus with people in Latin America, and yet another student said that she was following God. My long-term goal is to always follow God, wherever he sends me. Also, I want to always share the love of Jesus wherever I go. But, at this time in my life, I need to be able to communicate in Spanish in order to accomplish both of these things.
And let me tell you a little secret, learning Spanish is hard. Really, really hard! There are the rabbits and the tortoises in language learning, and without a doubt I’m a tortoise. I am not gifted at learning Spanish, and often I hear these little voices in my head that say, “You’re never going to get this,” or “Your way behind the other students,” or “It would just be easier to go back to the states where you can speak English.”
Around the middle of June, I was feeling pretty discouraged about learning Spanish. We had a special speaker come during our Spiritual Emphasis week. He was saying that grit is more important than talent. He said, people often take their talents for granted, but if it takes grit to learn something you are more likely to stick with it in the long run. For the first time, I saw how having to struggle to learn Spanish is positive, and perhaps a different packaged “gift”.
Each of us have things in our lives where our success is based on our willingness to be people who have grit. If you are struggling in your life and wishing you had talent in “that” area, wishing “it” came naturally and it was easy, then take a deep breath! Take a moment to remember that God is bigger than “your mountain,” and be encouraged that God is doing something big in your life, He is building up your grit!