choosing a mentor

While I didn’t realize it at the time, I was about to make one of the three most important personal relationship decisions in my life.

First and foremost, choosing (or more accurately said … responding to God’s choice of me) Jesus as Lord and Savior is the most important personal relationship decision one will ever make … with apologies to my wife.

The second most important personal relationship decision I have made was asking Sheryl to become my wife … OK, I can’t let this moment pass without sharing that story.  My wife-to-be and I had been dating for 9 months.  We were sitting at Hickory House … a local BBQ place.  She had just taken a mouthful of her BBQ sandwich and in that inopportune moment I asked for her hand with an equally bizarre question, “How ’bout the last Friday in February?”  For just a few moments, I thought I was going to have to follow that question with the Heimlich maneuver.  But alas she recovered … and with a sense of purpose … before we parted for the evening we had purchased our matching wedding bands … that fit perfectly without any sizing (Thank you sweetheart for your editorial input).

The third most important personal relationship decision I have ever made was the choice of a mentor … someone who would guide … mentor … disciple … me into a more mature relationship with Jesus … my relationship of first importance.  And as that divine relationship IN Jesus grows and matures … it has a ripple … no, it has a tidal effect on my relationship with my wife … actually with all relationships.  The relationship with a mentor is not one to be entered into lightly … fortunately for me God convicted me of my need and then led me to His vessel of choice.

Now all that wisdom is realized in hindsight … after 15 years … in foresight, I had no clue how important the choice and decision I was about to make truly was.

Back to the search …

My memory being what it is, it seems like I searched for a mentor for six months or so.  At the same time, I was reading what I should look for in a mentor.  Most every article and book I read at the time also made a big deal about the decisions and commitments one is truly making when they enter into a relationship to be mentored.

Was I really ready to be mentored?

So I began to look around using this basic search criteria …

  1. A man older than I was at the time
  2. A spiritually mature believer
  3. A believer whose walk truly reflected that of Jesus
  4. Someone I already knew and was approachable
  5. A good teacher … someone who could help me grow

Finding someone who fit these five criteria was a more difficult endeavor than I originally thought … my senior pastor … no.  One of the associate pastors … no.  Maybe someone on the church council … no.  One of the older lay people in the church … no.

Then it seemed to become obvious who God was leading me to … but he didn’t meet requirement #1.  In fact, he was almost 11 years my junior … while admittedly also being 15-20 years my senior spiritually.

After almost 4 years of serving in the Young Life ministry in our church under his leadership … after sitting under his intentional discipleship as one of the Young Life ministry team … after listening to his prayers … after observing his walk with Christ … well, I wanted what he had found … what his life reflected.

So I asked Corban … to be my spiritual mentor.

Lord willing, more of the testimony to come …

Do you have a story about a mentoring relationship you would like to share via comment or in a guest post?  Let me know … I’d love to hear about it.

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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