Man Enough to be Mentored
A man’s man thinks for himself, right?
“There is nothing new under the sun,” says the Preacher (Ecclesiastes 1:9). It’s a bit silly to think that anyone can truly ‘do it my way’ – with all due respect to Sinatra. None can really pave their own destiny, blaze their own trail, or be a complete individual. Man is not an island. Nor is Tonga (it’s an archipelago). You see, social influence (though not determinism) is wired into each one of us, and so there can be no such thing as a self-made man (sorry Hilltop Hoods). Even simply the fact that, to this day, you’ve been born and raised means you’ve been formed to think and perceive and behave in a certain way. Even to rebel against social constructs or trends or ‘the way things are’ is a response to – and therefore an influence of – any number of social factors.
But this isn’t meant to be a rant about social/behavioural science. What I mean to say is that it’s really okay to seek support and to be influenced by others, to ask advice even, to be discipled. Anyone who tells you to simply think for yourself is simply being an idiot (a ‘fool’, to put it biblically). From supermodels to science buffs, from brickies to bookies, from footy players to fighter pilots, everyone has those people who they admire, look up to, learn from; no one really invents themselves. So of course it’s okay for young men to be mentored.
In fact, I believe it’s a truly manly thing to seek it, to pursue it, and to harness its power. Now I’m not suggesting you go and ask every Tom, Dick and Harry for advice; unless of course your discipler or confessor or spiritual director happens to have that name. Learning from some thing from someone is different from being discipled, and so I’d suggest that one actual discipler is enough. After all you’ve already got the Holy Spirit, first and foremost, and always. A good discipler, I say, is someone who helps you learn the ropes, the basics, the everyday sort of stuff; and when the time comes, to then help you listen to what that greater Voice is saying deep within. This might also lead to seeking a good spiritual director.
In short, disciplers are an important part of a disciple’s journey. So get one, and commit!