Post 111 / The Next Language
October 12, 2022
Bit by Bit
Early in my path toward learning Spanish I was given a phrase that was very helpful and since then I have learned that phrase in every language learning project.
I was discouraged about my progress with Spanish. My tutor, the late Mamacita Gloria Saavedra de Figueroa, raised her hand with the thumb and index finger just centimeters together, indicating a short distance, and said, “Poco a Poco” — Little by little. That philosophy is valuable and reflects one that Joy espoused when she quoted Zech 4:10, which says, “Do not despise the day of small things.”
Recently when I asked for this phrase in Indonesian, it was understood instantly. Pak Putut said, “Sedikit demi Sedikit.” But he added, “If you want to make it classic you add the rest of the poem which is, ‘Lama lama menjedi bukit’.”
Sedikit demi sedikit (Little by little
Lama Lama menjedi bukit. With time we climb the hill)
My favorite story of this principle is from southern Mexico over half a century ago. I shared this with the Indonesian congregation and they got it.
Some villagers in the arid regions of Southern Mexico had an ox that ran away. It was finally found many miles away and they managed to rope the thing but they could not pull it home. They had with them a little donkey which was part of their recovery plan. They tied the little donkey to the ox, which dragged the donkey all over the place. The donkey was helpless against the brute strength of the ox — but the donkey had one advantage. The donkey knew the way home. The ox did not; he was hopelessly lost and was using his strength to drag the donkey every which way. The donkey however used every opportunity to influence and move the ox toward home and feed and water. In a few days the donkey walked into the village with the much subdued ox.
This has always encouraged me to keep going when I know I am moving in God’s will. The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong (Eccl. 9:11). The power of intentional, patient commitment to the revealed will of God will win in the end. Even if all we receive is the commendation, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” it is enough.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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