It's 11:40pm and instead of sleeping like ordinary people do, I'm up looking at uni courses. Why? Because I have a disposition towards being educated enough to be employed....and because I met up with my mentor the other day and he challenged my lackadaisical approach to study.
See, I thought I had life covered. I have an awesome job, I'm staying fit, and I'm surrounded by an awesome group of friends - I was convinced that I was on top of life...but my mentor wasn't sold. He pointed out that a lot of people do all that and study. And by study he meant more than one subject a semester (which is what I'm currently doing).
When I finished school I went straight into full time, voluntary youth ministry - there wasn't much time to study. When I was in the sem I picked up a few theology units, but then when I left I never quite kept the momentum going. This year I finally got motivated enough to go back to school, and fortunately my job allows me the time to do that. But I got a little bit lazy. And maybe even a little bit ignorant of my own potential. I've been doing the bare minimum of what I know I can achieve: taking one unit a semester. Only now when I read those words do I realise how pathetic that actually sounds. I mean, people raise families, work full time and study. What's my excuse? It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon when my mentor asked me if I could handle a few more units as well as work that I realised that actually, I probably could.
My point isn't that we should all study more or study harder (except if you're being as lazy as me - go to school!). My point is that if we don't allow input in our lives from wiser and (dare I say) older people, we can box ourselves in. It's true that my greatest critic is myself. It's also true that I only have myself to blame when I'm playing Xbox instead of studying. Mentoring is key, not only in figuring out one's vocation, but living it out to the full. I mean, the best advice that we can receive is from one who is ahead of us on the road.
I know for me mentoring is an intimidating thing. I was hesitant to seriously seek a mentor and meet with them regularly. I guess for me, I knew mentoring would mean being confronted, being told things I don't want to hear and being challenged out of my comfort zone. In the last few months mentoring has been all those things, but it's also been crucial in me growing up. If I followed my own answers or conclusions....God only knows where I might be right now!
As much as it pains me to admit this: I don't know everything, I don't have the best ideas or plans and I certainly am not the master of life. So I need to seek the advice and wisdom of those around me who have been there and done that. It's 12:02am and I feel just a little bit closer to achieving my hopes and dreams.