Helping Others Is a Privilege.
by Janet Stobie
Lately I’ve been having a grand time helping others with their writing. Some people call it mentoring. I call it a privilege. I don’t ever want to forget how much I enjoy teaching. Working with others, affirming their gifts, patiently challenging them to improve, feeds my soul. Last week, hours just disappeared as I sat with a very special young woman as she wrestled with a project for her university course.
For me, one of the joys of being a mother and grandmother has been watching my children and grandchildren respond to love and appreciation, especially when their struggles seemed to be overwhelming. Gardeners know the wonder of watching a sprout poke up through the soil, reaching for the sunlight. In just a few weeks, leaves develop, then the flower, even the fruit appears. Over a lifetime, the beautiful spirit in another human being develops in the same way. When I keep that privilege at the forefront of my mind, I can only give God thanks for the honour of being part of a person’s life.
I encourage all of you to search for opportunities to mentor someone. Often these opportunities are just fleeting moments. When you stand at the cash register waiting for your change, you can use the occasion to help the clerk find value in their work that day. All it takes is a sentence.
“Thank you, you’ve been helpful.”
“The store’s busy today. You must be tired.”
Acknowledging work well done, or visible exhaustion gives the message that this clerk is important. Whether you are shopping, standing at the soccer field, or having coffee after church, you can affirm the people around you, young and old alike.
I suggest you try it. For a few moments you will forget your own troubles while you make this world a better place in which someone else can bloom and grow.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:10-12)