“If you don’t have an older mentor, get one. Like, yesterday.”
I tweeted this last night, because it’s true. Do it.
I have an older mentor. He’s much more than a mentor, though. He’s a friend and an older, much wiser version of me, I like to think. We can hang out and talk about nothing important in particular, and just be friends, and we can dive into deep heart issues making our time together feel like a counseling session.
I don’t feel judged, condemned, belittled, or misunderstood, nor do I feel lazily encouraged, puffed up, or falsely cheered for. He falls somewhere in the middle. When I leave from spending time with my mentor, I’m more determined to be alive. Every time. It never fails.
I could be in the deepest, darkest hole, lamenting life, or on the highest mountaintop, convinced I am Superman, and either way, when I leave from spending time with this guy, my heart is a little more full, my eyes see a little more clearly, and I either get back up on my feet or my feet come back to the ground.
God had in mind something like this when He created us, I’m sure. He created us to be in relationship with one another and for these relationships to build up, encourage, strengthen and sharpen us to come more fully into our identities. It’s hard to be built up, encouraged, strengthened, and sharpened when you aren’t in healthy relationships. It gets much easier when you have a friendship with someone who has been there, done that, who doesn’t see you as a project but who cares about you and loves you for who you are and who God has made you.
You and I don’t know that much. It’s very possible that neither does my older mentor, but he knows more than I do about a lot of stuff. He’s been around the block a few times and walked with Jesus for years and years. He gives me a better view of life with Jesus, and gives me hope for my future and who I could become.
Don’t think you’ve got it all together, because you probably don’t, and that’s ok. I encourage you to look for an older person whom you trust and love, who loves Jesus and with whom you can spend some time sharing hopes and fears, doubts and questions, stories and dreams. They probably don’t have it all together, either, but they have something more than you – years.
I promise you will be better for it.