Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Mentor

I'd like to start with an opening prayer. Lord I pray that you may have mercy on me if I mislead any reader in one way or the other. Please know that the aim of these blogs is to give people an open mind, real inspiration and most of all, to draw them closer to you. I pray that spiritual discernment should be used in order to understand this specific post. Finally lord, if I am judging anyone in this piece, please, please have mercy on me. In Jesus' name. Amen

Who is your mentor? A mentor is known to be "an experienced and trusted adviser" (thank you Google). However, since I'm quite a strange lad, I will try and give it deeper meaning so please forgive me if I stray from topic or for any contradictory statements. Now I don't know about you, but if you are a believer and you hear the word "mentor", it is likely that you automatically think "someone of high standards who is heavily filled by the Holy Spirit" (e.g musical ministers); "someone who can deeply impact me"; "someone in the scriptures who's life I can follow", which is fine. I myself am quite intrigued by the book of Daniel. The first time I read it I wanted to be like him so much; to do as he did. I wanted to experience the cool breeze of the burning furnace in God's presence, and the silence of the hungry lion staying right beside me, doing nothing. However, this just hasn't been enough for me. I've even tried picking more than one mentor (as you do) but have come to realise that no one has really come to give me that true and full understanding of who a mentor really is or what being a mentor is all about. Well, up until a few weeks ago.

So I came home late from church a few weeks ago and I saw my sisters and two of their friends, who are practically family. I'm sorry I have to get personal but I believe it is important enough so we can learn something. So one of my sisters and her mates were getting ready to go out to some party. As I came in I opened the sitting room, greeted them and rushed up stairs (my usual routine). While I was upstairs I could hear the noise they made while getting psyched for their night out, with alcohol involved. It wasn't long till after one of my sister's friends came in to my room and started speaking to me. Now at this point I was already laughing because she was already drunk and could barely walk (God forgive me but you know when drunk people speak, it's absolutely gas). She looked at me and asked how I was, to which I positively responded with laughter. Little did I know that small talk would quickly transcend to a "Pep talk", my goodness. I was humbled.

As I stood in front of her, she told me that I should keep doing what I'm doing, that I should keep going to church. That I shouldn't care what people think about me and what they would call me. The amazing thing was, not only did I not know that she knew I go to church quite often, but she mentioned exactly what I was going through. Then she just blew my mind explaining how she knows when she's under attack and how God has never let her down; how she always prays whenever she feels under attack; How God gives her rest through sleepless nights. I never even knew she was that deep!! I don't even know when I'm under attack. Her relationship with God was not for me to understand. She then told me that I had a bright future ahead of me and that God will see me through, to which I said "yeah hopefully, I pray so", to which she then exclaimed " don't say hopefully, You have bright future, I know it." She expressed discernment and faith in under 30 mins!! Why am I telling you this? a few days before this I would have kept seeing her as one of my sister's friends and nothing else. But after this, she had opened my eyes to new insights and behold, she became my personal mentor.

What do we learn:

1. It is really important to accurately pick your mentor. However in saying that, don't write anyone off because you never know who God can use to speak to you. Picking your mentor should not be based solely on judgements. I encourage you be sensitive to everything; don't just see anyone who appears righteous and make them your mentor and at the same time, don't go out and pick the biggest "gangster" and say God will use them to speak to me. Be sensitive.

2. You can have a lot of mentors, but sometimes your mentor isn't on any book, or any type of social media.Your mentor could be your friend, your closest neighbour, someone you have a relationship with. In these times you need someone real and someone who can be real with you. One of my brothers said that if God came to take him today and felt he wasn't finished yet, he would tell Him to wait just a little longer. Haha!! what ? That spoke levels to me. He said don't play the "holy holy card" and say "lord if it is your will". That made sense to me. God can see through you, why lie on your way to heaven? That's a real mentor!

3. You can mentor your mentor. Like yourself, your mentor has flaws. while they're teaching you, take the opportunity to mentor them. Guess what, YOU ARE A MENTOR!! Unless He is the Holy Spirit, your mentor is a sinner just like you. You guys can lean from each other, give each other "pep talks", pray for each other. I mentioned above that I never knew that she knew I went to church. Unconsciously I was advising her because I believe she saw something in me that made her approach me. Bible says "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). I'm believing in God that He will keep her always. Unconsciously she gave me hope and faith. I'll tell you one thing.... nothing says "mentor" to me more than broken individuals carrying each other in seeking the lord to be fixed. Oh by the way I have never understood this, but the party was cancelled that evening.

4.Above all these mentors is the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to read John 14, John 16 and Romans 8:26 to understand further. You can always rely on Him.

To close I leave with this. Whether today or tomorrow or whenever, take some time to reflect. How can you impact the world, who can you mentor, and as I said above, who is your mentor ? As for me I'm going to mentor my mentor. But I'm not going to stop there.

Don't die old, die empty- Dr Myles Munroe

And that's not #Omni
God bless you for reading.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Work Experience

First and foremost I extend my apologies for such a  late post but I was sitting examinations and then laziness kicked in afterwards. I believe everything went well but now more to the point!!

I currently work in a retail shop that I can't mention for various reasons. While acknowledging the title, I've come to realize I'm not only in work for the sake of it but to actually learn from it. For me, work experience is about taking in what you learn and how to interpret what you've learned and how to benefit others and so on. I've come to notice that God always wants me to learn something.  As a matter of fact I'm starting to realize that I'm never in any situation out of coincidence. There is always a reason. Have you ever been somewhere and just wondered..... how did I even get here, or what am I doing here?

So this one time I was at work and one of my managers started giving me endless tasks to do all at the same time. Not that I was complaining, it's my job. So I realized that all he cared about was making sure that the work was done well and little care was emphasized as to how to carry it out. I already started making a few observations. I also started noticing that there is now no strong relationship required in the work place.....Just strictly business and a few conversations here and there. On the shop floor there is great communication and interaction but when we're at the back in the canteen, the casual 'hi and bye' (stay with me).

Here's what I learned. We are not far off from our employer!! See outside work we play the role of any employer and God plays the role of the employee. I say "we" because I've noticed my fault and hope more people can relate to what I'm saying. How many times do we pray for blessings but careless about how they manifest? How many can genuinely say they have checked up on God and find out how He is doing? One thing I've noticed is that we always assume that God is God and has no struggles and therefore make a conclusion that He is "ok"... but have we asked anyway? I once read Abraham Maslow's theory of  "Hierarchy of needs" where it explains how individuals will go at all lengths  to satisfy their physical needs with less care put into how they do it. You'll find that we tend to cry out to God mostly when we need something, which is fine. However, we need to use wisdom in making sure that we're not using or misusing Him. What's more is we do all this without trying to have a relationship with him...Just strictly business and a few conversations here and there.

So what do we learn from this experience:

1. Switch Roles-  Make Him your employer!! God inarguably holds the "Employer of the eternity award " and the proof is evident in His word. In the bible you'll find that God sent out a number of prophets and messengers to do work for Him but one thing was common in all of them; He never left them to do it on their own!! When He sent Abraham to leave his country and go to a foreign land He said " I will make your name great and you will be a blessing" (Gen 12:2). when He sent Moses to Pharaoh He said "I will be with you" (Exod 3:12). Like wise when He sent Joshua He said "as I was with Moses. I will be with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you"  (Josh 1:5). God!!. With God it is never strictly business. He sends you to do something that He could easily do and what's more is He helps you because He wants to be involved and He wants you to be involved in His vision.

2. Get to know Him-  God Has no problem helping us out so please don' t hesitate to cry out to Him or ask for blessings. But seek to have a relationship with Him first. It just makes sense to know Who's helping you. I remember last month during the Christmas period our youth group decided that we should take part in "Christ-kindle" where we all had to pick out a name that we had to buy a present for without them knowing who their "secret Santa" was. When I got my present I very much wanted to know that person because I wanted to personally thank them for such a thoughtful gift (I know who it is by the way.. thank you :P). The point is we should always try to know our maker because how else are we going to thank Him for the things He does for us if we barely even acknowledge Him.

So to wrap it up, I encourage you to look around whatever environment you're exposed to and see what you can learn for things around you or from any kind of experience. You'll find that God is involved in almost everything you do without us consciously knowing it.

“I worked harder than any, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” - 1 Corinthians 15:10

And that's not #Omni :P
God bless you for reading.