I have a confession to make: my study of the Welsh language has fallen by the wayside. Life seems to have been busier than ever this last couple of years and I have struggled to find time to progress beyond the first twenty-five lessons. One problem is that the further I go the more I need to sit and focus on what I am learning, rather than just listening to audio lessons as I drive.
This week I went all the way back to lesson one while I was driving to Heathrow Airport. Sometimes it is good to go back to the beginning. Interestingly, one of the first things the course teaches is how to say, “I want,” which translates as “Dw i’n moyn” in Southern Welsh. Other verbs introduced in lesson one include try (trio), like (hoffi), speak (siarad), do (gwneud), say (dweud), know (gwybod), go (mynd) and wait (aros).
Why would you teach someone how to say, “I want” so early in a language course? Is it because these words rule our lives? Travelling to the airport my thoughts would normally include many ‘I wants,’ including a good parking spot at the airport, stress free boarding of my flight, space in the overhead bin for my bag, and preferably an empty seat beside me. These are all reasonable expectations, but they are all human desires focused on a human journey. While human journeys are inevitable for all of us there is a far more important journey for humanity that begins at birth that is not about what we want.
Learning how to say, “I need” doesn’t come until lesson five of my Welsh course. The problem is that what I want is not always what I need. The other problem is the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ in everything. It is when I become focused on myself and my wants that I take my eye off what I need. The second problem is that what I think I need might not be what I need at all.
In returning to the very basics of learning Welsh this week I found God reminding me that He knows better than I do. When I ask for His will to be done do I really mean it? Do I really expect it? Do I really want God’s will to be done? If it all starts at the beginning then surely it all starts with God? If my days do not begin with God then how can I even begin to understand what He wants and carry His expectations through the day? If I am not carrying His expectations with me then I will be trying to operate in human wisdom, which is something that can only ever lead to problems. I need more of God and less of me. I need to reach that place of surrender where I will want nothing but Him.
Ar y dechrau cyntaf, dyma Duw …. (In the beginning God ….) Genesis 1:1