You may know that I’ve been hoping and praying for a older, wiser mentor in my life for decades. Someone who has walked the road I am on, who sees something unique in me and feels led to invest in me, and who regularly demonstrates they care through intentional actions and words – reactively (when I ask for help) and even proactively (because they love me and want the best for my future). Not, like, writing me a letter of recommendation or giving me a thumbs up about the girl I’m dating (although I am sincerely grateful when people do that). But walking this road with me, shoulder to shoulder.
Yes, I realize that my goals and dreams are up to me. Yes, I realize that everyone is extremely busy. But dang, it would be nice to have a little bit of help. Tell me, wouldn’t it be amazing if you always feel like you had to figure out life by yourself? If you had a sage and prayer-warrior and advocate to walk this road with you?
Tell me, wouldn’t it be amazing if you always feel like you had to figure out life by yourself? If you had a sage and prayer-warrior and advocate to walk this road with you?
The concept of mentorship is biblical (as far as I can tell). We know that Jesus mentored his twelve disciples and while we weren’t privy to every conversation, He just seems like the type of guy to genuinely care and make time for each after getting to know their heart. Paul mentored Timothy and Titus, bestowing masculinity and godliness in such encouraging and personal ways. Elijah mentored Elisha to walk with God and do miraculous things.
For the last couple of years, I’ve realized that God himself has been that person in my life. To be honest, I feel like it would be a lot easier with someone in the flesh, but that wasn’t His plan for me. And maybe if it were easy for me, I wouldn’t have become a person I believe He’s super proud of. As I look over the decades, I’ve been mentored pretty much exclusively by the Bible, by sermons, and by various faith-based books (some of which I’ve read over and over again). Maybe this has been the best possible outcome, but it has been quite lonely. Maybe this is actually everyone’s story, and I’m just being whiny. Do women struggle with this? It just kills me that I have felt so alone while trying to figure out life, especially when that feeling compounds the difficulty of making it through life successfully.
At this stage, what I want to do is make it easier for others. Rachel was telling me the other day that if you identify a problem you had in your own life and it seems common to the experience of man, you should try to be the solution to that problem. And break the cycle. I love that. Maybe no one else was able to walk this road with me shoulder to shoulder because they’re all walking their own road, and they’re way ahead of me, or going in a slightly different direction. No judgment. Everyone is fighting a hard battle and doing their best – I get it.
Rachel was telling me the other day that if you identify a problem you had in your own life and it seems common to the experience of man, you should try to be the solution to that problem. And break the cycle.
But I really want to be different. I really want to be a solution to this problem. I want to make myself known to other guys as someone they can reach out to, so they know they can count on “Sameer.” I want to be someone who is faithful to respond to their texts or calls in a super timely manner, and able to meet up with them for a coffee or meal just to provide the open space for meaningful dialogue and vulnerability to organically arise. And I want to be thinking about and praying for them during the week, remembering and following up with them about things they’ve told me. And, I want to keep them top of mind so I can stumble upon ways to bless them or make a connection for them or otherwise surprise them with a thoughtful gesture.
I’m doing this for a couple of guys. And writing this out reminds me to check in with a couple of others who may need a reminder that someone believes in them and has the time for them. I’m convinced this stuff matters so much. We all want to change the world but it starts with changing individual lives. And this is exactly how you change a life. Each of us has something to offer to someone else. And we should feel led to mentor others because of the powerful presence – or painful absence – of a mentor in our own life.