I love the idea of learning new languages. When living abroad in the early 90's, I had the opportunity to get a decent grip on Russian. I also took the time at one point to learn some very basic German vocabulary, and the numbers served me well a few times in a pinch. I studied French in school, but know very little, and about six years ago I took a Spanish class. When in Israel I learned to say some please and thank you kinds of words in Arabic and Modern Hebrew, but remember very few,--shukran you very much. In college I had to learn to read New Testament Greek, and for my master's paper I toiled/toyed with Old Testament Hebrew very little.
This fall Shelly and I are going to have the opportunity to spend some time in Italy. And so now we are both studying a bit of "get you around" Italian. Molto bene!
It's funny how all of these languages kind of take up residence in different places of your brain. Sure, sometimes I'll get my languages mixed, like coming up with a Russian word in an attempted Spanish sentence. But for the most part, if you are thinking in a language--and around it for a few days--your brain engages that particular gear for the time of need.
Just in case you are wondering, if my survival depended on my ability to speak any of the above languages, I'd get skinny pretty quickly. I can still--after 16 years--speak a bit of Russian. And I can come up with the right words here and there in a few others. But really, for all the passion I've placed upon learning to communicate with the people I visit, I have little to show. I am a jack of many languages, but a master of one--and that is if you count my native English! (Some readers may wonder about that now and then.)
What is your one thing? What are you passionate about? When the last words are spoken at your memorial, what will be their theme? I want to try and keep my stubborn self focused on the ways of Jesus. I want to speak him to my world fluently. And I want that place in my brain to be engaged when someone needs him.
In Philippians Paul said: "This one thing I do..." I want that to be true of me too.