“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
I’ve shared some about the acquisition of a bearded dragon to our family and how we virtually knew nothing about the reptile kingdom a month ago… so before taking the plunge, my husband put a lot of time into research, determining which lizard would be the best fit for our family.
While all that research reassured me that this was an undertaking we were capable of handling, it wasn’t until my conversation with the pet store owner who shared how her bearded dragon and dog play tug-of-war together that I was convinced… and even, I might add, a little excited. Then, when at another pet store, a customer struck up a conversation with me and explained how her six-year-old takes his bearded dragon for walks on a leash.
Since we’ve brought our little hatchling home, I have called the pet store no less than two times a week, always asking a question about this or that… making sure we’re doing more than just keeping him alive but instead helping him to thrive. Each time I call, no matter who answers the phone there, the response I receive is this: “We’re happy to answer any questions you have, any time. We’d much rather help you take good care of your pet and answer your questions in the beginning to keep him healthy than have to help you nurse a sick dragon back to health.”
The power of mentors. It makes me feel good knowing that I have a handy resource in the pet store to answer my questions, during working hours. We asked them a ton of questions ahead of time, also, so that we would be properly prepared to welcome our new pet home as well.
Being mentored about our pet isn’t much different than being mentored in the spiritual realm. God brings older men and women into our lives (either physically older or spiritually more mature) to help us grow in our spiritual walk with Him. Just as I trust and feel good about having a pet store I can rely on to answer my many questions about the unknown world of bearded dragons our family is walking, I am just as grateful for the spiritual mentors that God has placed in my life throughout the years to help me walk deeper and closer to Him by encouraging me, inspiring me or sometimes challenging me to dig deeper, pray harder or obey completely.
My husband and I are grateful our children have such great mentors in their lives as well. Some are through the church, some are in the community and some are in our extended families. Each one plays a vital role in their lives – helping them dig deeper and grow stronger in God.
The power of mentors – they are such a blessing from God. Once you’ve been mentored in a certain area, then it’s your turn to take that knowledge and breathe life into someone else, paying it forward to the next generation. Don’t worry if you don’t know who you will pay it forward to – just as God brought you the mentors you needed, God will bring you to those whom He wants you to encourage.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016