Language Goals

My natural goal in lifeBut the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

My great-grandmother on my dad’s side was born in Mexico, and thus her first language was Spanish. When she emigrated to the United States she learned to speak English. My grandfather was born into a bilingual house, and can speak both English and Spanish fluently; although since he was taught English in school he can’t read or write Spanish! (I think this is so fascinating that reading/writing skills don’t necessarily transfer from one language to another.) And then there’s my dad who can neither speak nor read/write in Spanish and is very quick to tell anyone “No Spanish!” if someone sees him looking mildly Hispanic and assumes he can speak and understand.

It has always been a goal of mine to speak Spanish fluently, as it is a part of my family heritage. Since my father could not impart this skill to me, I have had to seek it out for myself. I took three years of Spanish in school, and while I was a star pupil and was highly motivated to learn all I could from class I still haven’t reached my goal. I have quite a bit of head knowledge of verb conjugations, I know how to say some common phrases that I’ve memorized, (Donde esta el bano?) and most likely could speak enough for someone to understand a thought I am trying to communicate. However, should someone begin to speak to me in Spanish I would probably look like a deer in the headlights. Why is this? Because in all the knowledge of the Spanish language I possess, I’ve never had the experience to be fully immersed in the language with no option but to pick it up quickly and completely. I believe this is the only way I can take my language skills to the next level is to have to take what I have learned and apply it completely.

I believe many believers in Christ have this same experience when they are trying to know God. Like my years of schooling in Spanish, someone can study the Bible and other books and feel they know all there is to know about God. They can quote scripture and answer all the Bible Trivia questions (the nerd in me really wants to play THAT game!) but that alone is not enough to experience God in His fullest. I feel like in order to KNOW God you have to be fully immersed in the Holy Spirit and to spend time cultivating a relationship through prayer. If you can become disciplined in spending every day speaking and also listening to God you’ll have a greater ability to relate and commune with Him. The things God most wants to reveal to us are spiritually discerned, and no amount of studying or head knowledge will get us there.

It is to be able to communicate with a Spanish-speaker clearly and fluently. My supernatural goal is to do the same with the Holy Spirit and to allow Him to make known things that will only be revealed to one who is earnestly seeking the mysteries of God.