Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Genesis 24 - Stride

Right now, the biggest hole in my life, is that I don't have a mentor. I don't have an older, wiser person helping me make some of the weird decisions I am starting to face. Like writing a book, speaking at churches, consulting ministry organizations etc. And I think in general, it's hard sometimes to find that person.

I think it's a challenge because some times people give us counsel that is more about them and less about us. Although it might be cloaked in words that feel as if they are meant for us, if we step back, we can see it's really all about them.

That's why I like the way Abraham's chief servant handled Laban's request to stay longer than he should. The servant had a mission. He was laser focused on fulfilling God's command so when Laban tried to delay him, he said without hesitation: "Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted me success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."

I love that, the directness of it, the clarity of it and I need to learn from that. What I need to learn too is that often, when someone tries to detain you, there are three possible inappropriate reasons they are slowing you down:

1. They are afraid you will leave them behind as you journey outward.
2. They once had the same vision or passion as you and regret that they never fulfilled it and thus want company in their misery.
3. They are currently ignoring their own calling and your obedience is uncomfortably highlighting their disobedience.

I agree, sometimes a delay is exactly what you need to hear. I want to publish a book right this minute and my wife has been beautiful in speaking "slow down" into my life. And I am praying for a mentor. I am hoping that God will helicopter in some author or speaker that has walked this same road. But in the meantime, I am being cautious with the advice I receive because I want to be focused. I don't want to be detained for the wrong reasons. I want to go to my master.

10 comments:

Augustino said...

If the Holy Spirit be your Mentor and Muse what will some wrinkled, old dude add to your saga? You’ve got a wife who is advising wisely – surely a more attractive partnership than a mentor can provide. Does asking for a mentor sound a bit like Israel asking for a king? If your stuff is as fresh as you want it to be, and as brand-spanking refreshing as I find it to be, an established orator or author may only be a drag with the baggage of a passé plight. Your flight to your Master may be an uncharted course; I hope you relish adventure.

Thanks for this message too – I’m guessing it will remain on my mind throughout a day with potential delays aplenty.

Prodigal Jon said...

Augustino -
Wow, very interesting thought. Am I like Israel right now asking for a king? That's really caused me to pause. Thanks for sharing that
Jon

jenny said...

I am no private jet attendant but while travelling through the plane to attend jlo concert, I am also reading your holy thoughts?

you are right, it is nice to have a mentor who guides us through just like an angel.

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

Really good thoughts. Helped us today. thanks.
t& t

Gabrielle Eden said...

Man, augustino, that is not very respectful of an older, wiser person - "some wrinkled, old dude" - that sounds like it spells out disaster in your own life in terms of listening to the wisdom of age. One thing I have learned with age is how age makes all the difference.

Gabrielle Eden said...

Jon, I failed to write this in the last comment, what I find difficult as a would-be mentor is finding a younger person willing to listen, willing to admit he/she doesn't already know everything!!!!!!!

matt curtis said...

Jon,

Thanks for all the great posts. God has really blessed you with a lot of talent.

I just wanted to add that sometimes it's not that someone wants to detain us, but that we look for someone who will counsel us in the way we want to go rather than seeking someone who will give us the good counsel we may not want to hear.

--matt

Augustino said...

Hi Gabrielle - I sincerely apologize to all who possess wrinkles and wisdom. I didn’t intend to offend and I concede I have much to learn, starting with the basics.

Really, I do value age and acumen. The other day, I caught an unexpected glimpse of myself in my wife’s magnifying make-up mirror, and gasped: Whoa, who is that wrinkled, old dude? Should my kids ever afford me the opportunity to get a full night’s rest, I’m hoping the few crumples forming under my eyes will disappear. It would be a shame to have actually acquired the wrinkles without the corresponding wisdom.

You are also correct about my failure to heed the counsel of enlightened teachers spelling out disaster in my life. A cargo of devotionals, encouraging thoughts and blog reviews thud into my inbox daily. They come from the bigs in the biz but, never produce any bang. Surely, the fault is mine since these veterans do resonate with the masses. Related to my inability to gain much from many authors, I’d like to believe my old wounds from earlier brushes with Christianity have healed however, there may be some lingering pain memory. I’ll work on that.

I don’t presume to have any real advice for Jon; I trust he acts on the inspiration he receives from God. I just gush a rash reaction to his thoughts. I wish I had left out the rude and wrote something like:
PJ, bud, it appears the Holy Spirit is doing something amazing with you! Do you realize what a good thing you’ve got going, or how much I’d love to get in on that action? Knowing almost nothing about the Holy Spirit, I am at least conscious of the fact that only the Holy Spirit could break through a heart as formidable as mine. When your words do the same, I assume they are originating from that Source. Thanks for allowing a vicarious and vivid peek into your relationship. I’d be excited to read only of what God is doing between the two of you. I lack the perspective to believe another party’s involvement would enhance that thrill. My fear is a mentor would delay or otherwise alter your journey to the Master.

So Gabrielle, I am sorry for being disrespectful and I have benefited from your bit of counsel. Thanks!

Lisa said...

thank you for this post.

Flesheater said...

Yeah I used to be all amped to get a mentor.

and then I realized I didnt really need one. G-d was enough...

then G-d gave me one haha.