I serve as a mentor to one of the confirmation students in my congregation. Last week, when Rachel and I met, I was reminded once again of how mentoring is a two-way street. I always learn as much from the experience as the person I'm mentoring, something I've been told by those who have mentored me as well. Perhaps that's really the idea?
Since that night last week was our final formal meeting before she is confirmed in her faith, we talked a lot about what we have learned from each other, what we've learned through life and what we commit to doing in the future.
Our discussion raised a few questions for me: What if I saw every person and every experience as a potential teacher—even, and perhaps especially, from some of the difficult people in life? What if I tried to see what I might learn from them rather than flitting from one day to the next without paying attention? And what if I paused from time to time, as Rachel and I did last week, to take stock of where I have been, where I am and where I am going?
It's about being awake and aware—about really opening up to life and paying attention. Rachel is a quiet young woman, so she notices things; she pays attention. She talks about the importance of love being embodied. Yes, love isn't something to just talk about. You and I can be love; we can bring it into being.
Thank you, Rachel, for being a teacher and mentor to me, too.
Who might be a teacher on your journey today?