What showing up says
Updated: Oct 24
Getting three kids ready for school in the morning is something that I’m not sure I will ever truly be prepared for.
So many things have to go right for us to be out the door by 7:40am. Kids have to wake up in a good mood, breakfast has to be eaten, underwear has to be put on the right way, shoes have to be found… the possibilities for something to go wrong are pretty much endless.
If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about.
But one thing that I am good at in the mornings is taking my kids to school. It’s pretty hard to mess that up.
Someone once told me that the car ride to school can be a discipleship opportunity, so I try to be intentional with our seven minute commute each morning. After all, they are literally strapped in the car with nowhere to go. They have to listen to me.
We do a little question/answer time each morning, which starts out with me asking “What are we going to do today?” My kids pretty much give the same answers every morning, spouting off things like “We’re going to have fun. We’re going to obey our teacher.” etc…
But every so often an answer pops out that gets me thinking.
“We’re going to sit by the kid who is alone at lunch. We’re going to play with the kid no one is playing with at recess.”
Now that was a new one. I’ve been chewing on it ever since.
If you had to list the top ten things in this world, what would you pick? There are lots of things in this world that are bad, but what was the one thing God chose to zero in on in the Garden of Eden.
It is not good for man to be alone.
As I ponder on this topic, some of my worst moments come when I am alone. Isolation leads me to make some terrible decisions and to get caught up in the whirlwind of lies that are circling around in my head. Being lonely seems to make everything worse. It is a breeding ground for anger, lust, and comparison.
Taking it a step further, you can’t be a learner if there is no one there to teach you. Hard to cope with tragedy or trauma when there is no one there to lead you through the process. How are you supposed to be encouraged if there is no one there to build you up when you are broken or pick you up when you fall down?
If you were to ask me the question “What is the most important job of a mentor?” when I first started my mentoring relationships and I would have had many-an-answer.
“Teach them how to go to college.”
“Eye contact, firm handshake, and asking questions.”
“Financial security and biblical knowledge.”
Ask me now “What is the most important job of a mentor?” and my answer is short and simple.
Sometimes your mentee needs your presence more than they need your advice. They need to know that you will be there for them through thick and thin. Doesn’t matter if they make straight A’s or if they just got caught smoking pot. Your love is unconditional. You simply won’t stop pursuing them.
Showing up says “You are worth my time.”
Showing up says “You matter.”
Showing up says “I like to be with you.”
Teaching your mentee skills has value, but not nearly as much value as instilling a foundation of worth and identity in the heart of your mentee.
How are you going to show up for your mentee today? Will it be through a phone call or a handwritten note? Maybe you stop by their work, catch their sporting event, or swing by their house?
Whatever you do, I can guarantee it will make them feel important and like they have value. It will help them believe that they are lovable and have someone in their corner regardless of how they perform.
Maybe then, when they feel like they are seen and wanted, they will start listening to what you have to say. Maybe then, they will believe that they will be able to see in themselves what you see in them.
It is not good for man to be alone.
Good thing your mentee has you.