I was asked this week to teach the interns here at Mount Hermon on the topic of mentoring. (there are about a dozen interns here each year—they’re a fun part of our team here). Anyhow, as I prepared for this time I wondered who would be a better mentor…Spock or Yoda. Now I’m no Trekkie and I can’t say I know all of the Star Wars movies by name, but I do know those two characters would be a great way to compare and contrast some of my thoughts on mentoring. (what’s that show where they make modern day personalities with claymation and battle it out in the boxing ring?—who would win that Spock or Yoda? I digress…).
So here’s the deal. Yoda is this all-wise trainer of the Jedi’s. He was really old and wise (and pretty spry in those light saber battles!) and had a long list of successful Jedi. I think he did some work with Darth Vader who didn’t turn out so well, so he wasn’t perfect, right? Then there is Spock. I know less about this guy/Vulcan. He was this no-emotion, all logic part of the crew…and he had those killer pointy ears—but Yoda did too—even bigger! I also remember as a kid we’d do the Spock grip on each other’s neck—ouch. I don’t remember if he actually did any training of anyone but I do know that he was always true to himself (is he a self?). What you saw is what you got.
When it comes to mentoring, we’re just supposed to give what God has given us. If it is a skill we’ve learned, a gift of encouragement, knowledge or wisdom or just a listening ear and caring heart. Our job is to pass on what we have received from the Lord to others who will then pass it on as well. I run into a lot of people who still feel inadequate as mentors, and many of them have years of experience and training! The sense is that they often fear they will not provide what is needed for each person or that they have too many imperfections in their own life. While those challenges are real, the reality is that anyone can give away what God has given them. Just be yourself, discern what God has given to you and pass it on.
Spock vs. Yoda? I’m thinking Yoda would probably win the death match claymation thing since he’s got that lazer sword and sorta flies when he fights, but mentoring might be a toss-up. If I wanted to learn about flying a spaceship on pure logic and chase cling-ons he’s my guy/Vulcan.