This week, I’ve continued with my online mentoring study over at www.moretobe.com (which by the way, it’s not too late to drop in and join us), and we’ve been talking about seeing mentoring relationships as a baton pass, handed off from one generation to another.
As I got to spend some time reflecting on the relationships in my life and viewing them in light of the image of the “baton pass” metaphor, I realized how blessed I am once more. God has given me numerous opportunities to have been impacted by strong women in my life and at the same time I was able to see how many younger women I’ve also had the opportunity to speak life into. I’d highly recommend you download the free tool, Running the Race, that Elisa Pulliam has made available on her More2Be website through the mentoring study. As I sat down and worked my way through the tool for myself, it became obvious! There was no ignoring the visible evidence of relationships, both formal and informal, that God had invited me into for His purposes over the years, so I’m praising Him today in a big way for allowing me to repeatedly hold all spots on that baton, beginning, end, and sometimes even the middle! I’m sure a lot of it had to do with how clearly I had felt His call on my life and then my desire to answer, by “throwing in the towel” and surrendering it all to Him, as I shared in previous posts. (Thank you, Jesus!) I just got sick and tired of the “same old, same old,” which I believe allowed me to adopt what I guess could be called a “mentoring mindset.” It was like God glued permanent “mentor-vision” goggles to my head, and to be quite honest, there were times when I wished I could have just ripped ‘em right off and passed up a few good opportunities.
(It probably would have made for a whole lot “easier” living at certain times—wink, wink). Yet this ole “circumcised heart” of mine that God continues to circumcise
can’t seem to resist sprinkling a dose of Christ’s hope into the life of another, so I’m just deciding to lean into it and trusting that God will continue to provide women in my life who will influence me and those whom I will be able to influence, whether it’s formally or informally. Like I said, I don’t see “mentoring” anymore as an additional “add-on,” but rather as a natural extension of who I am. Those goggles all of a sudden look like they’ve been on my head forever!
A perfect example of a mentoring mindset for us to learn from is that of Mary and Elizabeth’s relationship, laid out in the book of Luke, Chapter 1. Every time I read the verses that tell how Mary “hurried” to see Elizabeth in the hill country, I find myself so greatly encouraged.
For starters, I can’t imagine myself “hurrying” as it so clearly states in Luke 1:39 to see anyone, especially while finding myself in the condition of being single, pregnant, and without a motorized, climate-controlled vehicle to travel in! (Yes, I’m just that shallow sometimes. True confessions).
But once I force myself to move beyond my initial flesh-based response, I am able to see the real beauty in that situation, i.e. that Mary hurried to seek encouragement and support from another more senior woman who she too believed was “favored by God.” Is there anything else quite like the support of another like-minded Christian woman who can walk with you (or me) through the challenges and everyday situations that life brings forth? The answer to that, which we learned from the example of Mary and Elizabeth, is “obviously not!” So be encouraged, fellow baton holders! We’re all in this together. Therefore, hang on, regardless of what spot you find yourself grasping on that baton, and just keep on holding on and running, reminding yourself with each and every step that it is all for His glory! And “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:45, NIV 1984).