A couple of years ago, I took an English teaching training course. My first language is Croatian, and I had been working as a professional translator and interpreter for over 20 years, so I spoke English on a daily basis and was quite happy doing some freelance English teaching.
However, I eventually realized that a teaching diploma would open more opportunities, and I also wanted to use teaching—in Christian summer camps, for instance—as an avenue to share God’s love and encouragement. Hence the training course, and the good news is that since then, I’ve been able to pursue those opportunities I was looking for.
I’ve worked with both adults and children, and I can empathize with the trepidation and fear experienced by those who feel inadequate and unable to learn a new language. In fact, even as I’m writing this article, I’m facing my own fear of the future!
I sometimes build my lessons around a pithy motivational quote. “Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is one of my favorites. Starting out is always the hardest; when we endeavor to try something new in our lives, we often see it as a huge mountain in front of us and we just “know” that we will never be able to climb it. True, it’s a daunting sight, especially when we compare ourselves with those who have been at the top for some time. But when we are able to overcome the initial fear and take that single step, we find ourselves on the road to victory.
God’s love is amazing! When we are reassured of His love, it gives us the faith to reach beyond our own limits and confines, and enables us to step out into the unknown and reach our full potential. It helps us to believe that anything is possible. His love gives us confidence. His love gives us faith.
Your past is important, but it is not nearly as important to your present as the way you see your future.
—Tony Campolo (b. 1935)
My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.
—Philippians 3:13–14 CEV