By Nathan Mark
I had been meeting with my mentor, Jim, for over two years. Every Thursday at 10 a.m. we would meet at Denny’s, and every week God was faithful to speak through him. For the most part we never knew what we were going to talk about each week, but still, we never had a hard time finding things to talk about!
Sadly, God has asked Jim to move to Arizona, and he drove out last week with his whole life in a moving van and headed down to Tucson. I’m not gonna lie: it was really hard for me when he left! For two days I felt the weight of the loss of my mentor being regularly in my life. I was irritable to my family and I was moved to tears multiple times through those two days. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way. I told myself, Nate, Jim isn’t dead. He is going to be back in Washington for a month every summer. You can Skype with him regularly. You can call him on the phone whenever you want.
Telling yourself why you shouldn’t feel something rarely works to make you stop feeling the way you feel. But my feelings told me something. They told me just how much I valued my time with Jim. Jim had really become a father to me. I had grown more over the last two years as a result of Jim’s mentorship than I had the rest of my adult life.
But what makes Jim an amazing mentor? Jim is a man who is more rooted in his identity as a son of God than anyone I have ever met. In our times together he never felt he needed to put forth an agenda, because he trusted God to say what needed to be said. Jim actually never told me what to do. He would just ask lots of questions and by the end of his questions, I would know what to do.
I wanted to share this with all of you for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to honor my friend for the love and selflessness that he showed me each week. Second, I wanted to encourage you. If you are a believer, it is God’s design for you to walk with others. Being a Christian is a personal relationship with Jesus, but it is also an interpersonal relationship with His bride. How long have you been a Christian? If the answer is more than just a few years, my question is, who are you pouring into? Do you realize that if everyone in the Church across the world never passed their faith on to the next generation, the Church would cease to exist in a generation!
“But Nate, I don’t feel qualified to speak into someone’s life.” The question is, is your God big enough to speak through you, and maybe to even work in spite of you? I think he is.
On the other side of the coin, who is walking through life with you that you allow to speak wisdom into your life? Luke 2:52 says that, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” If the Son of God had something to learn, so do you! I have been meeting with a mentor regularly for the past 8 years. Not to my own credit, but do you know how much I have grown, and how many difficult painful things I have been able to avoid because I gave someone the right to speak into my life? What are you waiting for? What is holding you back from seeking wise counsel and sharing the wisdom you have learned? Proverbs 12:15 “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”