Thank you, Duolingo

international-2684767_1920I’m learning Swedish.  Slowly.  I have a working vocabulary of, I dunno, 70 words?  Our second granddaughter is 50% Swedish (our son-in-law is 100%), and they live about an hour outside of Stockholm. 

Now, when my son-in-law heard of my little project, he informed me that only 10 million people on the globe speak his language, as compared with the 1.5 billion that speak some form of English, his point being that it wasn’t necessarily practical to learn his native tongue.

Since when does a grandmother need to be practical??

Nevertheless, it is a daunting endeavor, and makes me appreciate those who are multilingual.  It’s something I have to be quite intentional about—the little reminder pops up in my email from the language site informing/encouraging/admonishing me to get with it, especially if it’s been several days since I have logged on and practiced. 

It’s easy to get distracted with other things, and quickly that part of my brain gets overgrown with other things and chokes out the Swedish lessons (because there are only so many neuro-synapses to go around, I suppose.)

And now for a little different analogy with the same idea:

I walked by the field of a lazy person,
    the vineyard of one with no common sense.
I saw that it was overgrown with nettles.
    It was covered with weeds,
    and its walls were broken down.
Then, as I looked and thought about it,
    I learned this lesson:
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

I sense the writer isn’t just talking about gardening, but about life in general, including relationships and character issues.  My marriage is a field, so are the relationships with my children, and most importantly with my God.  My physical body and my mind and my own spirit—these are all fields in their own way, all of which deteriorate without proper maintenance and diligence.

It’s so, so very easy to be distracted, even by good things that we allow to get out of balance.  Making an income to provide for my family is a good thing; however, making money at the expense of my family relationships is something else. 

Doing “church stuff” can be a really good thing; however, doing “church stuff” at the expense of my personal and private relationship with God is downright dangerous. 

Naturally, weeds are easiest to pull when first spotted, which means the gardening needs to be watching for them.  Overgrown is a different story—it takes the gasoline-powered whacker and mower with a lot of sweat and a few sore muscles.  (Ask me how I know.)

Which speaks to the issue of priority.  And setting priority is actually something only God Himself has the wisdom to give us, as in:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Gå för det!

Proverbs 24:30-34; James 1:5  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


About dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic. View all posts by dawnlizjones

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