How often do you contemplate your purpose in the life you have been given? Do you know what your purpose is? Are your priorities positioned in a way that allow you to fulfill your purpose? Often times I feel like a rudderless ship tossed about on a sea of choices. It is the variety of these choices which cause my purpose to be swayed by my selfish pleasure seeking desires. Do I condemn myself for focusing my purpose inward through fleeting accomplishments, accolades, and worldly goal attainment? No. I give myself permission to be human. However, being human does not excuse me from reevaluating my purpose as life tosses me to and fro. But, how do I reevaluate my purpose? As a Christian what measuring device do I use to find the purpose that truly fulfills my soul? Many times in my life I made the mistake of thinking the “Free Will” I was given was so I could discover “MY” purpose, but it wasn’t. The free will I was given was given for use in service; service to God and other mini-me’s who bear His Image. Service to God and others is a rudder to my torrent soul; it leads me always back to my “Father.” On an Enlistment Poster Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) It is God’s will that provides me with my purpose, and His will, will, be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Often when I talk to people about mentoring, Christian or non-Christian. I get the same response: “I’m ok I don’t need anyone like that in my life? I have it all together!” I don’t say this to their face but I can’t help but thinking: “Go ahead, keep on believing that lie.” I don’t mean for my thought to be malicious. I mean it to be a sign of how much I care. Fact is – we grow the most from our relationships.
I think about what my mentors have done for me. Yes, I have mentors. I have a mentor near my age, a mentor in his eighties, and mentors younger than I am. Why? Because having mentors of all ages help eradicate my preconceptions, presuppositons, prejudices and unecessary judgments.
My mentors have:
1. Assisted me with the dynamic of shaping my character.
2. Helped me see life from different perspectives.
3. Urged me to read often and seek a life of education.
4. Taught me how to survive in a combat environment.
5. Helped me stay in tune with today’s technology (Young mentors)
6. Helped me through relationship issues, and other Major life issues. The list goes on and on.
Once the timeless principle of mentorship/discipleship is accepted by an individual here is the question I get: “How do you find a mentor?” Easy, you ask someone if they would be willing to mentor you. I have never been turned down. I bet you won’t be either.
Most aspiring Mentors ask: “How do I connect quickly with the person I am mentoring.” To answer this question I lean on Mr. John Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell has been mentoring me via books, blogs, and videos. He says there are three questions for a quick and fulfilling connection.
1.What do you dream about?
2.What do you cry about?
3.What makes you happy?
The video below encapsulates the purpose of mentoring: TO INSPIRE BY AUTHENTIC LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT
Ever wonder how our minds can remain in neutral concerning certain people, places, or things?
I realize I do not do conversations well; but it doesn’t mean i can’t learn too. It was tough to hear Ms. Headlee talk about the things i often fail at, when it comes to meaingful conversation. Since my graduation from Seminary four years ago, I have been a student of communication. Why? To improve my marriage, be a better Dad to my Daughter, and to be an attentive minister to everyone I come into conversation with. Jesus was a master communicator, and one of the most beautiful, effective, and mutally satisfying conversations ever held was between Jesus and a Samaritan woman (John 4:7-26). Ms. Headlee’s wise counsel in the video closely resembles the prinicples she teaches.
How did Christ define the word “Neighbour (Plesion Grk.)? “According to Christ, any other human irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet” is our neighbour. By the very nature of the word “Refugee” I would say we all, Christian or not, stand a chance to meet our displaced neighbour. The meeting itself, where it is or when it is, is not the issue. How we act toward our neighbor when we meet, is.
When Christ implored me to “Love my neighbour as I loved myself” it caused me great pains. Why? The biggest reason, I didn’t love myself, therefore loving my neighbor wasn’t possible. The other reason, I had no idea who my neighbour was. Oh! I knew the couple that lived next door to me and those living on my block. But, does the “human neighbourhood” really stop there? Sometimes I find myself thinking so small, like I am in my own little world. For the longest time I defined my “Neighbor” as someone who liked me, thought like me, liked what I liked, someone that believed how I believed, and of course my neighbor had to make me feel safe. What a narrow and fearful mindset. In order to overcome my fearful mindset I heeded the words of the Apostle John. John said, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love.” (1 John 4:18 AB)
My relationship with Christ, and after having spent months imbedded with Muslims as a Military Advisor has helped changed the narrow and fearful paths my mind used to travel. Loving our neighbor, a human being made in God’s Image, may not be convenient and may not be easy. However, I do not think Christ would have commanded us to do so if it wasn’t worth it. Christ never hesitated to accept and love me. When I came to know Him I was a refugee from a nation of unbelief. Now, as I glance over the media’s usage of the word “refugee” the love of Christ (Perfect Love) blocks out those letters and replaces them with “Neighbour.”
As a Christian the directive, right, and privilege to love perfectly is inherently ours. The decision to allow fear to overpower perfect love is generated by the opposite of Grace. Yet both are still a decision.