I don’t know why this came to my mind the other day, but it’s worth at least one blog post. When I use the term Lifetime of Mentors I don’t mean mentors that have been there throughout your entire life, but how God puts people as mentors in our life just when you need them most. Here are mine.
My Dad died when I was nine years old. I was the oldest of four children. The youngest was 1 1/2 years old. We lived in a farmhouse in Western New York State, living in the middle of the Finger Lakes. My first mentor was Bob Thompson. I believe God brought him into my life at just the right time. He was the farmer that owned the land around our home. In fact he owned 750 acres of farm land. At nine through sixteen years of age I worked with Bob on his farm. I was a kid who had little common sense and I think Bob thought he could teach me some. I spent hours with him on tractors, combines and in trucks and barns. Lots of places where we could just talk about life and work. In fact he was the one that told me to jump in his 1959 Ford Galaxy convertible and follow him one day. I was twelve years old. My first time driving on public highways behind the wheel of a car. Bob was in his forties and didn’t much care what the rules of the road were, he just needed me to follow him in that car, so I did. I learned a fair amount of common sense through those experiences and conversations. Thank You God!
The next mentor was one of my coaches in high school, Jack Geinan. He spent time sharing not only his love of football with me, but his love of life as well. I clearly remember an afternoon in my junior year. It was the fall of 1966. Coach Geinan gave me a ride home from practice. The whole way home all he did was go on and on about how I was progressing as a player and as a person. I remember walking into my house going up to my bedroom and bawling like a baby. It dawned on my a number of years later that I had been starved for positive feedback in my life. As a kid of sixteen I didn’t know how I was doing. That one conversation with Coach Geinan was a life changing experience for me. Thank You God!
In my freshman year in college — I attended Houghton College — I met Dr. Abraham Davis, Jr. He became my mentor through the college years. He was also my debate coach. We had many hours together driving from Western New York to Eastern PA or New York City for tournaments. I took every speech course I could from Dr. Davis. When I graduated from Houghton he gave me a graduation gift. I learned how to accept others for who they were and to think critically about social issues. We co-hosted a radio program titled The Black Perspective. Those were growing years for me when it came to social and political awaremess. Thank You God.
Three mentors. It dawns on me I have a lot more, so I’ll make this a multi-post theme. It is humbling to think about how God brings just the right people into your life when you need them most. His role of leading us is beyond comprehending. And a part of each of these mentors has helped shape me to be the leader I am today. I hope you can take a few quiet moments in the next couple of days and identify the mentors in your life. I think you’ll be thanking God too!
Oh yes and don’t forget Kem Meyer’s blog tour. Remember for sure to check back here next Friday. You may win one of her books, depending on how you craft your comment to that day’s posting.
Well that’s this leader’s view.