Poco a poco. That’s Spanish for, “little by little.” And that’s the phrase my Spanish-speaking friends often use when cheering me on in my endeavor to learn Spanish.
As I write this, I am in Puerto Rico on a mission trip, and I’m rather frustrated as I stutter and fumble for the words to communicate with my new Spanish-speaking friends. After studying Spanish in high school and college, participating in an emersion program in Panama, and diligently listening to tutorial CDs, I thought I would be fluent by now. But I’m not.
I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. It’s going to take much more time, practice, and patience. But being patient is hard. I’m tempted to just throw in the towel and give up on becoming fluent rather than putting forth the time and effort it will take to reach my goal.
Our have-it-your-way-now society is opposed to the little by little philosophy. Even though we know the tortoise was victorious over the hare—by going slow and steady—we seem to think we should be able to bypass the baby steps and skip straight to the finish line.
Many people think along these same lines about their Christian walk, assuming once saved we should have it all together. We are hard on ourselves when we stumble or become sidetracked. Instead of our progress, we focus on the distance left, halting our progress even further.
I pray in the midst of our failures, we are reminded God does not expect us to be perfect. He sent His Son to redeem us. God wants us to repent of our shortcomings, learn and grow from our mistakes, and then move forward. We must not give up on what He has called us to do.
When you falter, get up and try again and again. Fix your eyes on Christ and you will persevere. Run your race with patience and endurance … poco a poco.
(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)
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