Not Letting Past Setbacks affect Present Desires or Future Plans

Tomorrow morning I will have a meeting with a representative of Ames, an organization that trains individuals so they can teach English as a Second Language to those who recently came to Australia.  This has actually been a burden of mine since late 2009 but the Lord closed the door the first time I attempted to teach ESL which was frustrating, but taught an important lesson as well.

In February 2010 after going through seven weeks of training with Ames another local organization connected me with a young man who needed english tutoring.   As the day for our first session came closer my heart was filled with excitement about being able to teach him and fear that things may not go well at the same time.  Those worries were forgotten once I met my student we were able to work hard and also learn more about one another during that first forty-five minute session.

The next Tuesday I looked forward to meeting with him again only to get a text message that he was sick.  The next week the student wasn’t able to meet either, the week after that he was away, and after missing three weeks of sessions I was getting concerned about not continuing our lessons.  The fourth week he promised to meet only to send his friend to the door when I arrived to tell me he wasn’t able to have a lesson that day.  That afternoon an email was sent to the head of their ESL department telling her the student had not had sessions in almost a month (I had contacted her after he missed his second session)  and she promised to look into it.

A week later the department head called and informed me that after the first session my student decided he didn’t want me as a tutor.  This was shocking to me since the session went well and he was making a very serious decision after just spending forty-five minutes with me.  That shock turned into frustration and later humiliation even though I tried not to take his rejection too personally.  These emotions kept me from pursuing other ESL opportunities even though the burden was still there.

A few weeks ago I was reading Philippians 3:13 where the Apostle Paul talks about “forgetting those things which are behind.”  A study of that passage shows that he was probably referring to past victories but it can also be applied to past sins or failures.  It occurred to me while thinking about that verse dwelling on a setback with a student who may not have wanted to learn anyways was affecting my present and future so I called the Ames office and scheduled an appointment with the ESL representative in my area.  There is a good possibility they will not accept my application since I don’t have lots of experience but whether acceptance is given isn’t what matters most to me anyways.  The important thing is that a past setback isn’t allowed to affect my present desires or future plans.

Because of Who He is,

John Wilburn

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John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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