The Joy of Finishing Strong
After the tornado hits, the storm ends and the morning comes, the debris and aftermath always finds itself scattered across the land. I feel like this is a great visual for the month of May. Many times the end of the year seems like the most hectic and chaotic time, filled with graduations, summer plans, and getting ready for the next season of craziness. What I have found the most encouraging in these times is that 1- I’m not the only one going through it 2- Paul & Timothy talk about the craziness of life and that we’ll make it (Philippians 1:6) and 3- Christ has told us that His Spirit is with us and He will give us what we need, when we need it (Joshua 1:9, 2 Peter 1: 3-15)
One of my favorite but most difficult memories of living in South Asia was the time we climbed the Himalayan mountains. We climbed 9,300 feet that day with no training and little to no expectation of what lied ahead, but by the grace of God I made it to the top and I was still breathing! There was a group of about 15 that climbed with me and only 6 of the men had climbed before. Those 6 men were like mountain goats, scaling the mountain as if they were made to climb with ease. The first 3/4th of the climb honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I surprisingly kept up with the mountain goat men. At that point, the scenery wasn’t shockingly beautiful or anything spectacular. It was rocky, dry, and scorching hot. After a quick water break, we continued to the top of the mountain. It was like a flip switched and the air began to get so thin that we had to stop every-so-often and catch our breath. I thought to myself multiple times that I wouldn’t make it to the top and I would just shrivel up and die if they left me behind. One of the men had climbed to the top and came back down to check on us. (I’m telling you, they were super-human. How in the world did they climb so fast and with so much ease?!) He looked at me and said, “You know, we’re only a feet hundred feet away from the top. You’re so close. Let me cary your backpack and you grab ahold of it and I’ll help carry you the rest of the way.” So I gave him my backpack and we started back to the climb. We finally made it to the top, and wow! What a beautiful sight to see. The mountain tops were the most luscious, green pastures I’ve ever seen. There were beautiful streams and waterfalls awaiting us to rest under their cool sprinkles of water.
I think back to this memory often and it reminds me of how we couldn’t climb our mountains without Christ taking our loads and guiding us the rest of the way. Since being at Gospel Village, I have been able to see the resemblance this memory is to many of our mentor-mentee relationships. Many times our mentees are like me, gasping for air and help trying to climb the last hundred feet, and our mentors are like the mountain goat men who easily and swiftly carry me to the top. Without the help of someone who has gone before, reached the top and experienced the joy of seeing the mountain tops, I would have never made it to the top of the mountain. Many times our mentee are asking and begging for this kind of guidance but aren’t receiving the help they need. Just when they think it’s all said and done, you come in and sweep them off their feet and say, “Hang on. We’re getting through this!!” I want to encourage you to keep pressing on, finishing this semester with strength and endurance and continuing to walk hand-in-hand with your mentee. Life is crazy for the most of us, but what joy you can take in helping others reach the finish line.
Mentor’s Corner: Conversation Starters for the Month
- What was something fun you did this week?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Do you like to play sports? Which ones?
- What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
- Do you prefer to spend your time inside or outside?
- Do you like to draw? What kinds of things do you draw?
- What do you do when you get home from school?