Then reality smacks me upside the head and says, "Hey, girly-girl, wake up! You know better!"
Oh yeah, I know better. I know the difference between giving mental ascent to a concept and living that concept out in real life. Take Christianity. Wowee, there's a concept. Total redemption, forgiveness, salvation, peace like a river. I'm all in! (and I am - all of me). But when it comes to living out the life Christ demonstrated for us - well, warm fuzzies flee. The Christian life is "simple", but difficult to live. It takes a moment to moment relationship with Christ, a second by second checking with the Spirit connection. It takes every part of us. The wonderful concept of salvation, played out in the life of any one individual is complicated, intricate, messy, involved - and sometimes a struggle. (Which is why I don't waste my money buying books by preachers who would have us believe that God is a great big sugar-daddy in the sky just waiting to hand you all the money, power, and SUVs you deserve - but that's another blog).
So what has this got to do with mentoring?
I recently received an e-mail from someone who took a bold and courageous step outside herself and reached out to me, asking if I would consider being a writing mentor to her. She's a big fan of my blog, and she's looking for someone to offer a guiding friendship to help her on her way. Flattered, I'm sure. Who, me? Gosh! But that feeling quickly faded.
Two things hit me in quick succession: 1) This woman's courage is to be admired. How many of us would look at something (in this case a blog), admire it, and say - I'm going out on a limb and ask the author if she would consider helping me? How many of us? I think that takes guts!
2) Mentoring is hard work. It's the ugly girl at the dance that everyone feels sorry for but never asks to dance. It's the job we all know could be done, should be done, but no one can seem to find the time to do it (like discipleship - or confessing our sins to one another - or submitting to the spiritual authority of our pastor - or any other spiritual discipline we don't like doing and so have conveniently cut out of our faith with a clean razor and walked away from).
And I suppose it would make sense if I ended this blog post with a pithy truism, or at the very least, a tidy concept that cleaned up the theme and put it in a tidy pile. But, I don't have any good ending - no one-two punch that makes it all make sense. But I suspect you will forgive me for that. And I hope that you and I can stroll this road together awhile as we take in the scenery, and think thoughts.