When Jesus fully stepped into his ministry, he called some young men to join him. “Come and follow me,” he said. It was that simple: follow him. Do what he does. See what he sees. Spend time learning from him, and seeing what really matters. We call this discipling, but in the same way, Jesus was their mentor. He was their guide. He was the one that they watched and learned from.
For us, for me, as I am discipled by Jesus, I have also been discipled (or mentored) by others who are a little further along on their journey than I am. And that has been a huge gift. When I’ve needed encouragement, I’ve received it. When I’ve needed a solid rebuke, I’ve received it. When I’ve needed wisdom, or a shoulder to cry on, or someone to laugh with – they have been present. In my most painful times, I have been able to call a mentor who could pray with me and help me see light again.
It’s because I have had excellent mentors that I, too, have been able to be a mentor and provide the same to others. I’ve also been the shoulder, the laugh-partner, the wisdom-giver (for whatever it was worth!). I’ve prayed through heartbreak and rejoiced in times of joy. I’ve answered questions, and I’ve sat in silence. We’re really not meant to do this life thing alone. We need each other. And it is such a gift, and a lift, to have mentors and to be a mentor.