I was reading in 1 Kings 12 this morning and a young King Rehoboam has taken power. The passage describes Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel pleading with him to show mercy towards them and reduce the punishment levied towards them by Solomon. The people of Israel are associating their lifestyle now to being just like it was in Egypt under Pharaoh. You can read the references HERE.
So, King Rehoboam gathers around him the elders/old men who stood before Solomon to ask them what he should do… show mercy, or increase the suffering. He listens to what they (the older men) have to say, which is basically “show mercy and they’ll serve you forever.” Upon hearing this from them, the King “abandons the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him.” What did these young men say to the King? “increase the suffering.”
The King chooses to take the counsel of his young comrades and there is continual hostility between Israel and the King for the remaining time (1 Kings 14:30, 15:6, 15:16). He, being young, thought that he knew better than those who were wiser & older than he. He failed to listen to those who were older. Call it arrogance; call it foolish; call it folly – but it’s plain dumb for him to not listen to these men. He chooses (which BTW, this is all according to God’s plan) to do his own thing and it ends badly for him.
The point? There is wisdom in mentors if we’re willing to listen. I am deeply grateful for the men who have taken the time to invest in me… but their investment in me would have been wasted had I not listened to them.
So, to you Rick Cavitt, your investment in me and many other guys has touched God knows how many people. I will always look up to you… always.
So, to you Andy Dennis, you always pushed me in ways that frustrated me, but grew me… and your love for U2 makes me smile.
So, to you Tom Mosley, you always kept me grounded. Your zeal and passion for God and His glory causes me to worship Jesus even as I sit here.
So, to you Bud Jones, if it weren’t for you… I very well may have given up on Jesus’ first love. I love you man – even though you’ll probably never read this.
I plead with you young men and women, find a mentor – and listen to them… listen well friends. I plead with you older men and women, be a mentor… we need you.