Skies and Mentors

This past weekend I joined some friends on a cabin getaway in the snow.  We were worried the resort would be closed on Saturday due to a snowstorm in the area so we prudently moved our skiing from Saturday to Sunday.  My friends and I woke early on Sunday but were eager to hit the slopes at Bear Valley Resort. We did the first run together down a green run then the more experienced skiers spilt off to go down blacks. 

For one of the runs, as I got on the ski lift the operator stopped the lift.  I looked up and saw someone had lost one of their skis.  The operator asked me, “Can you take the single ski up with you and give it to the person at the top?” Being an enneagram 2, I absolutely love opportunities to help. Especially when the ski’s color and design looked like it belonged to a girl.  As I’m riding the lift up, I was daydreaming about the situation that is going to take place. In my mind, I was going to be the modern-day knight in shining skiing armor arriving to help the drop-dead gorgeous damsel in distress with her missing ski in hand.  This heroic act of service would cause her to become infatuated with me; years later I would be explaining to my kids that I how I met their mother. 

I woke up from my daydreaming when my skis bumped into the snow strip before the chair lift drop-off zone.  I began to look for her and to my surprise, an older woman and her husband were standing near the chair lift. 

“Thank you so much, I’m so embarrassed!” she joked. 

I shuddered “No worries, happy to help…It happens to the best of us”

I laughed to myself thinking, “Why was it an old couple and not an attractive girl!”

We all have expectations. Expectations encompass all areas of our lives—our work, our relationships, our plans, and God’s will. They play a major part in how our goals and general life direction are formed. They’re how we are able to envision our future. They can cause problems when they are not met, or they conflict with others’ expectations.

When expectations are unconscious, unreasonable, or unstated, they are likely to go unmet. Unmet expectations can result in misunderstanding, conflict, and anger. When we’re careful to discover our expectations, it is helpful to not only have peers but mentors to inform us whether or not they’re reasonable,

Now looking back I can see why it was an older couple waiting at the top of the ski lift and not a cute girl.

I reflected on this interaction as God telling me to seek out some fellowship with mentors. Mentors are ordinary Christians willing to step out in faith and join people on their spiritual journey in a compassionate and respectful manner. Lots of people have the desire to live out their faith, teach others about Jesus, and be a part of a ministry; being mentored helps with these things.

To begin with, you need a willing heart and a desire to share struggles, doubts, and what God has done in your life. God promises to help you grow as you depend on His Holy Spirit and commit to meeting with a mentor, one step at a time.

Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal a person or couple that will help you. Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as a guide, so let Him guide you. When you pray for a mentor, you might ask the Holy Spirit some of the following questions:

  • Who do you want me to invest my life in?
  • What is holding me back?
  • Which passage of Scripture should we explore next?
  • What are you trying to teach me God?

Finding a good Christian mentor is a process; it is not an overnight change. Often the easiest way to find a Christian mentor quickly is to reach out to your local pastor or church. Developing a fruitful relationship where someone agrees to coach you through a season requires commitment from both you and the mentor. Be patient. Make sure you have clear goals, prayerfully select the person, wait for the right timing, and make the ask. A Christian mentor can help you build faith habits that can change your life. The sweet spot for a mentor is about 10 years older than you as they are still able to relate to the world you are living in and have the wisdom to share. Nothing wrong if any older mentor than 10 years but it might be harder for them to relate to certain topics.

In Grant’s quote, he highlights the reality that mentors and mentees are doing life together like Jesus did.

We just have to remember that discipleship is a lot more of a map than a menu. It has a lot more to do with taking a person somewhere than with teaching them something. Because if you think about it, what kind of class and curriculum did Jesus take his disciples through? It was the Bible, but it wasn’t a classroom. It wasn’t a lecture. It was a lab. He didn’t say, “Come and learn.” He said, “Come and follow me.”

Skeldon, Grant. The Passion Generation (p. 105). Zondervan.

Here are some more blogs/resources

What is Christian Mentoring, and How Do I Do It?

Practical Advice on How to Be a Spiritual Mentor

When Mentoring Gets Messy

Mentoring Resources

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