When A Mentor Keeps Being A Mentor

I’ve noticed – at least for me – as I get older there are some mentors that still mentor me. They do this from a distance and they are often unaware of the impact they continue to have on me. My father-in-law is one of those of guys but that is another post for another day.

Gene Wilkes is one of those guys. I’ve written about him before. He was a huge mentor to me when I started seminary. Unknown to me at the time, he was going thru his own leadership/identity crisis at the same time. You can read about that on his blog…and other stuff as he transitions out of one kind of pastoral ministry into another kind. Anyway – check out his blog. He’s worth the read.

Oh yeah – he’s written a book or two. Jesus On Leadership is a great one. (I bet his other one is good to, I just haven’t read it yet. Don’t tell him.)

It’s his latest journey that has me both impressed and jealous. He summited Mt. Rainer. He wrote about the experience but what impresses me about the whole experience is that he failed to summit the first time out. I am not trying to kick a man when he is down. I just remember when it happened and I was devastated for him as a I read the story.

He was disappointed as well about the moment but…not devastated. It didn’t define him. He was like – it was great. I experienced Jesus. I’ll be back. And he did go back. And this time – he nailed it.

He’s like 102 years old as well. (Okay – 60-something.)

Here’s the lesson for me. Just keep climbing. Be who you are. Learn from the setbacks. Embrace the journey. Keep in shape. Don’t let the losses define you. Keep serving. Take friends with you.

Not bad for an old guy, huh?


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