Last week I met one of my mentors after a several year absence. I remembered him as intellectually towering over me. His ability to marshal small facts, link with our shared objectives, and help me see the weaknesses in my response was extraordinary. His ability to see the present in context of the future was both inspiring and fear generating. In the intervening years much has changed. I went on to run businesses as complex and global as he was when we first met. He faced the political machine inherent in most multinational corporations and while surviving is in a very different role than before. I would not dare to say I moved beyond, yet in many ways I have pulled along side.
As I reflected I did acknowledge when we met that I owed him a debt. He invested in me when many others didn’t. He found the potential and gave of himself in order to try and develop whatever it was into something greater. He believed when others doubted. I know my “thank-you” did not even begin to pay down the debt, yet I felt it was important to begin the process.
Investing in people is hard work. It takes patience, courage, and hope. Jesus took time to invest in those others had never given a chance to. Even after three years the process was not going completely as planned. If we drop into a conversation you can sense the gap still present.
“You've been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don't understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren't mere words. I don't just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.” (John 14.9, 10)
You and I have gaps. God believes. God continues to invest. Our common mission is to invest in others and ourselves.
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