Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Power of Mentoring

Every person, somewhere along the way, needs an outside perspective into life.  Taking the opportunity to speak into someone else's life and do so in love is an invaluable gift to them.

This is the next to last post about the stories of how a few men shaped my life.  Be stirred.

I was a junior at Baylor.  I had met Dave before and, frankly, was a little awed by him.  He was a man of spiritual power and authority, great faith, and generally a very nice fellow.  I called him one day related to something else and we got to talking.  I asked him if he had time to meet with me regularly.  "Of course, son.  But I'm giving both barrels to you."  And he did.

So every Thursday after class, I left and drove to Lewisville.  I'd sit down with Dave and enjoy some time. We'd talk about life and the Scriptures and whether or not dating so-and-so was a good idea.  Afterwards, I'd stay for a home-cooked meal with he and Mary, his wife.  We'd sit and laugh and talk and wonder and all the good stuff that happens around unhurried meals.  Then I'd drive the two hours back and have all sorts of stuff to think about.

He, more than any single person, shaped my understanding of what following Jesus looks like.  I specifically remember walking through Matthew 6 and talking about worry.  I sat stunned as he talked about his family and how their finances were completely dependent on the gifts of others who believed in the ministry they did.  Agape.  Slack-jawed.  I probably looked like a goofball, but I had never heard of such living.  And they did it without worry and without want.  God provided.

That was one of many lessons I learned in Dave's office and around his table.  I'm grateful for a mentor who would (a) take the time and (b) have the patience to invest in me.  And it has made me look for those kinds of relationships in my life.  I sense I'm at the age now where my investment is owed to the next generation.  But I still love lingering conversations with the wise.  They still stir and provide perspective.

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