Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel

15 WE MUST GROW UP    Eph. 4

It all started when Telemachus got stuck with two people he didn’t choose. Telemachus was Odysseus’ son and Odysseus put a foster-brother and a man named Mentor in the palace. Y ou see, Odysseus was lea ving for war . Telemachus would need supervision and support.

Funny the way it happened: Mentor turned out to be old and unhelpful (as opposed to old and wise). But Athena, now, Athena made it happen. She dressed up as Mentor—those ancients—quick to don a disguise—and Athena-as-Mentor did a world of good.

Or maybe the world of good was in the space between Athena and Telemachus. In any case, that’s where we get the term.

Ministry is mentoring. I wrote that much in my ordination papers several years ago. Because we cannot afford for me to reinforce the lie that only clergy are ministers, let me sa y for not the first time all y’all are ministers. [See: Y our baptism. ]

As ministers, we take people on and give of our selves that the other might lead that life Paul describes as worthy (v . 1). W e take people on only to see how God, through these relational experiences, is taking on us, the so-called mentor, that we might live more worthily. Mentorship is how we are joined and knit together (v.16). Embracing the mentoring and being mentored times is how we render ourselves grow-up-able.

Growing up is hard. We gotta says the Apostle and...in every way (v.15). Somewhere on my bookshelf is someone who says that we are always just beginning when it comes to discipleship; meaning, no matter how far we have come, we are at the start of a next stretch. I like and I don’t like that statement, mostly because I experience it to be so very true.

This summer I have had to grow into the role of mentor. If I say I wasn’t ready, what I mean is that I felt the ground underneath of me shift. I wondered if being a mentor somehow meant I was losing the mentors whom God, I believe, has given to me. I wondered if I had anything real to offer—if I would be a disappointment.

Michelle, if I’ve gotten anything right in this realm, ‘tis overflow. It’s their doing; they, who continue to encourage and equip this woman. What I haven’t gotten right: It is entirely mine. Thanks for lifting our gaze to the body’s growth (v.16). Thanks for having been all that you are in our midst. Oh, the places you will go~