I find it rather unusual that I have been asked to write about mentoring. It is strange because I have not been mentored in the traditional sense nor have I sought to be a mentor to anyone else. Ernie Jones came up to me one Sunday and asked me if I would mentor him. I could not see where I would have the time to do it, and I started to make excuses. I do struggle with time. I teach in a field that is constantly changing, I am in the midst of putting together a documentary on the problem with the New World Translation of the Jehovah Witnesses. Also, I cannot neglect my wife. Besides, I live way out in the sticks above Kalama. There was another obstacle I did not mention to Ernie—wondering what would I share with him. Before leaving him, I said I would pray about it. Oops, that was a mistake.
It hit me that if Ernie was willing, I could meet him for half an hour before church. The other problem concerning what I would have to share came back at me in the form of what would I have wanted someone to share with me. Then I started to think about many of the significant events in my life that caused me to grow in grace. In junior high and in high school I read maybe a total of five books and one of them was the Classics Illustrated comic book version of Silas Marner so I did not have to read the book itself. I was a slow reader and I found reading books rather boring. After becoming a Christian in my late teens, I read The Cross and the Switchblade by the late David Wilkerson. I had no idea that Christian books could be so interesting. That had impact on me (as I look at my 1000+ books in my library). It could be something of significance to share.
Then I started to think of other things that impacted me, like having written up my own spiritual journey as to how I became a Christian, how Christian radio, especially the music, has ministered to me, how God has taught me (and continually reminds me) of giving thanks in all circumstances, spending a daily time in the Word, and the list goes on.
The following Sunday, I was willing. My two obstacles were no longer issues. It was all up to Ernie. He had no issue with the time or place. So we made a commitment of three months of getting together. These past three months plus has been a breath of fresh air. Over 40 years ago I became a Christian. The new life I see in Ernie reminds me of what it was like when I first became a Christian. His joy in the Lord has overflowed into my joy. And to think of it! I could have missed out on the blessing that I have received if I had not prayed about it.
What I did was not significant; many others could have done the same. The difference was that Ernie was pliable in the Holy Spirit’s work in his heart.