When I was about 13, my mum printed off Proverbs 3:1-13 and stuck it on the wall in the downstairs toilet. Sounds funny, but it’s one of my warmest memories of growing up in that house! Regular periods of ‘meditation’ in that loo have etched it in my mind and engrained it on my heart. God has used it to help shape my life. The key verse? “In all your ways submit to (or acknowledge) him, and he will make your paths straight” (verse 6).
As a teenager I thought it meant God would tell me what to do. As I grew older, I realised that as I submitted to him I learned (to a degree) to have his wisdom, and ended up wanting the things that he would want for me anyway. This is a much more empowering way to live; when we realise that we become like him and desire what he desires, then we can go ahead and make our own decisions in life confidently and without wondering if it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, or waiting endlessly for writing on the wall or the voice out of the blinding light. (Of course, sometimes he does speak more clearly.)
Discuss this with your mentee. Are they frustrated, waiting for God to speak to them about what to do with their life – about GCSE options or relationships etc? How do they think God will guide them? How can they ‘listen’ better? What is their responsibility…and what is God’s?
A good way to help focus their mind is the following exercise. Draw a star (or write ‘star’) in the middle of a sheet of paper. Ask them to write things they want from life on the paper – the more important they are, the closer to the star they should go. It might help to divide the paper into quadrants, so each section is a different category such as ‘Family’ ‘School / Career’, ‘Health’ etc.
They should find it fairly easy to begin with but wait until they have run out of ideas before prompting them to think of five more. Once they have done this, encourage them to think harder and get three more. These are the less obvious ones they have not considered before but may well be the most valuable.
Now ask them to circle any that they feel God also really values. Go through and discuss them; cross out ones that aren’t relevant, or aren’t what God wants for them right now. What are they left with? It might be useful to rewrite them in concentric circles to denote how important they are – again with the middle denoting the most important. Could one of these be a useful goal to work through between mentor /mentee over the coming weeks?
Spend a moment in silence, allowing God to use your emotions and thoughts to filter and ‘speak’ to your spirit. Then feedback to each other and agree what you think the way forward is.
If you are not able to meet with your mentee face-to-face, then arrange to video call them and chat with them (make sure you follow safeguarding guidelines – see p13). Both do the exercise and afterwards, scan in your different versions and email them to each other.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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