The Good Old Days Are Gone
There was a day when your grandmother would mentor you by taking you aside and telling you, “Listen, Honey, you are making a big mistake! You are pulling your own house down around your ears with that talk!…”
…Or with that attitude or that behavior.
And you would listen because you knew your granny loved you. And even if she dared to point you to God and you thought she was wrong, and even if inwardly you were rolling your eyeballs, you would respect her for daring to cross the great divide of generation gaps to scold you, because she loved you.
And because if truth be known, you sort of loved her, too.
And because of the shock of perhaps the first time ever hearing her scold you.
And because you remembered her sugar cookies or something.
These days are different.
These days, many grannies need someone to mentor them. They don’t care or even know about God, so they don’t know the way. They often don’t care about much at all; they don’t care about their grandkids, or even sometimes don’t know about them. And they for SURE don’t make sugar cookies.
We are in such a mess.
Yet, if a woman wants to make life improvements, family improvements, or self-improvements, she must learn somewhere, somehow. But how?
If Granny, Mom, and Sister are missing or else have missed out, themselves, there is still an answer.
Think of a mentor as a substitute mom, just like a granny would be, if needed. And if available. And if able.
A mentor is someone you develop a close relationship with and learn to love and trust, like a granny, but not. She, in turn, learns to care for you and about you. She learns how you learn and prepares herself to give you the little push you might need, somewhere along the way.
Basically, you enter a non-binding agreement to sort of adopt each other, for the benefit of the one being mentored, when there are gaps in her growing up years. But it benefits the mentor, too, as she is someone who gets joy from helping others.
And sometimes she bakes.
How do you know you need a mentor?
Easy. If you have questions about life, as it relates to the Bible, and your mom and/or granny is clueless, you need a mentor. We all need, as the old song says, “…someone older and wiser, telling you what to do…” when we don’t know, ourselves.
Yes, people really do that!
But you cannot just take out an ad in the paper, to get one. You cannot shop online. You have to develop a relationship with a real person. Like face to face. You sort of have to apply for a mentor and see if she is a good match. It requires living in the realm outside the e-world.
As much as I would love to mentor every needy one of my Internet friends, I would be lying if I told you that would be good. You do not need an electric friend. You need someone with skin on. You need real tears with a box of tissues. You need hugs and a hand to hold.
It’s doable. People have been doing this since the beginning of time. They couldn’t help it. They had no facebook.
So how do we go about it?
The typical way is to go to church and meet people, watching for sincerity in the older women until you find one you’d love to learn from. Then approach her to see if she would be open to the idea.
It’s as easy and as terrifying as that.
To approach her, a fun way would be to invite her to your house for lunch. It doesn’t have to be a difficult meal, just something tasty and well-prepared, to set the tone. Over lunch you can get to know her better. While visiting after lunch is a good time to ask her if she’s ever mentored before or if she’d be interested in mentoring you.
Don’t make her give you an immediate answer; let her have time to pray about such a decision.
If she says “no” you can start over with someone else. But if “yes”, then mentoring could easily begin with another shared meal, perhaps at her house or the pancake house, or a sack lunch in the park. You could fellowship over bowling, crocheting, taking walks, mani-pedis, or even by reading and discussing the same self-help book. The most important part is that you spend time together on a regular (weekly?) basis, and that you discuss life, your questions, her answers, and the Word of God as it applies.
It can be so good for you and for her!
Find a mentor!
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. Ecclesiastes 4:12