Learning from the Mistakes of Others
I have made so many mistakes in my life. I am sure we all have, mine were a result of thinking I had all of the answers, enough experience, and that I knew exactly what to do in every situation. Obviously this was a conceited way of thinking.
My husband lost his job about two years ago; this season taught me the value of those with experience. I was struggling to understand what was happening in our lives, how we were going to make ends meet, and what exactly God was doing with me. I reached out to a couple of ladies who had experienced the same thing and finally realized the true value of mentorship. These women walked me though this season, told me I could do it when I felt I couldn’t, and taught me more about myself than I ever could have realized on my own.
Since that time I have come to rely on mentors a great deal to help me make major decisions, guide me through small ones, and pray with me about everything in between. A mentor is someone that brings life, encouragement, and strength into your life. They can teach you something by just doing life with you. Please understand, I didn’t always accept this premise. There were so many times prior to my husband losing his job that I found myself thinking that I was the first person experiencing that struggle, situation, or scenario.
Mentorship is valuable because it gives you a sounding board and a wealth of wisdom to apply to any situation. I was freed by realizing I don’t have all of the answers and most of the time the situation that I struggle with someone has been through it before. It is invaluable to have someone who shares your values and beliefs provide direction and experience. This is an important component of mentorship.
I can reflect back on vision the Lord had given me of a racetrack. I was reading a scholarly article and it discussed how our lives are like a track, the article cautioned the reader to not sit down, or someone will pass them by, leaving them in the dust. I chewed on this for a while and found that there were many life lessons to be learned through the eyes of a race. I found after reading this article that there was value in those who had passed me by, these mentors had experience and knowledge that could help me get to the finish line. They had already seen the next curve and knew what the best strategy would be for staying focused. I feel that many times our society makes those ahead, beyond, or in front of us an enemy instead of an ally, quite the contrary. These individuals have something to teach us, they have been where we are going and have found that experience is the best teacher.
On the flip side some people just starting the race also have something to give us. They have the newest and freshest strategy. They aren’t tired; they still have enthusiasm that we may be lacking. There are many people in our lives that can teach us something. It is a priceless resource that costs nothing. It allows us to learn from the mistakes of others and not have to make them ourselves.
I encourage each of you, if you don’t have a mentor, find someone you can talk to, someone who can speak truth and life into your situation, you will be glad you did.