I picked eight dirham out of my coin purse. “Here you are.”
The produce vendor looked down at the coins in his palm and waited.
I stared at the eight dirham and felt the heat creep up my face as my mind replayed the Arabic word he had used. He had said, “tnash” and I had given him “tminia.” I had been in North Africa for six months and still didn’t know my numbers? Good grief.
Despite the countless hours of study, I was, in fact, the worst language student in all of history.
The sting of my disappointment worsened when I saw others fulfilling my dream. While I plodded through language school, feeling like a daily failure, I was forced to watch other students blossom. It wasn’t fair.
Seeing others fulfill my dreams made me insecure and envious.
During my time in North Africa, I heard of a man and his wife who had a vision similar to mine. But because of circumstances outside of their control, they could not move overseas. Instead of being jealous and closing up their heart to this dream, they sent me a donation to carry on with my work. Several hundred dollars to someone who was living out their dream. Their heart was for the dream rather than who was fulfilling the dream.
Thousands of years ago, King David realized that he was living in a palace while God dwelt in a tent. He decided to honor God by building a gorgeous temple. It was his dream, and a worthy dream at that. But God said “no.”
Instead of pouting, King David helped to plan and gather building materials. He even blessed his successor to complete the God-given privilege of building the temple.
So when you see other people being or doing what you would like to be or do, don’t soothe your pride with the camaraderie of other envious people around you. Share your dream with others, even if they are better at it than you are. But beware: it’s much harder to give away your dream than it is to give it up! Trust me; I know because it’s a lesson I’m still learning.