On Mentors

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Dictionary.com defines a mentor as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher, an influential senior sponsor or supporter.”

As a young man I longed for mentors, and I had several good ones: John Staat, Jay O’Keefe, Dick Brooks, Clyde Gassaway, my own dad. Also remember times when I wanted one, but the one I wanted was unavailable, at least unavailable to me.

Also, have noticed through the years that most mentoring programs don’t work. I think it’s because you can’t arbitrarily match a mentor and a mentee, a practice sort of like an arranged marriage. No chemistry.

So how does one find a good mentor? Well, you can’t force it. Forcing it will push the other person away.

It’s a bit serendipitous, and maybe, probably, prayer is involved. Anyway, you start hanging out with someone and one day realize that he or she is your mentor.

And, when that happens, you realize you have been given a great gift.

3 thoughts on “On Mentors

  1. Mike,

    “A wise and trusted counselor” check
    “A teacher” check
    “An influential sponsor/supporter” check
    Yes!! I guess you are my mentor!! When we first came to church at EV Free back in 90′, I really felt a connection with your teaching. God has used you in mighty ways to help me through some tough times. “The letter” from the accident is my treasure, I know God sent it to me but he used your heart and hands to write it to me, and I am grateful for your obedience to Him. Thank you and Charlotte for your heartfelt support, love and care!!!

    Pam

  2. I really liked this. I do think God arranges the best mentoring relationships. I look at my life and see past and present mentors; I’m not sure some of them even knew they were mentoring me. I look at the kids I mentor and realize that somewhere along the line, it just happened. There has to be that chemistry and a sense of understanding goals, whether they are shared or individual goals.

    As I write this, I am thinking of Dr. Charles G. Taylor, the college professor who gave me time and wisdom and parenting. Every time I directed a drama production at church, I was channeling Dr. Taylor in my head. Twenty years later I still wanted to please him.

    I loved him, and I recalled his advising voice as recently as last week . I went to visit him a year ago and told him I still loved him. I was glad to hug his neck for what I know might be the last time.

    Laura

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