There's a show on the Food Network called "Chopped." Competing chef's are provided a food basket with an interesting and usually uncomplimentary set of ingredients they must use to create a culinary delight. The show's emcee sounds off the start time and the chefs are on their way. They use their creativity to create a winning dish. In the last post, step four, we came up with some ideas, "ingredients," so to speak that we generated towards finding a way to have a "real" relationship with God.
Along our way, following the steps of the creative problem solving process, we decided that having a spiritual mentor would be a great way to bolster our walk with the Big Guy. I the last post, we came up with some ideas related to having a mentor. Now, we need to prioritize our ideas and get cookin'.
Whenever you have a list of ideas that need prioritizing, a great way to do it is by targeting. Draw a target with a bull's-eye on a piece of paper, a flip chart page or a white board. Next, write each idea out on a small sticky note. Then, place each note on the target with the bull's-eye representing the absolute best idea. Sometimes, the best idea might be the scariest one!
Looking at the ideas generated in the last post, I would put "Get it at the store, or health food store" right on top of the bull's-eye. We need to connect with a mentor first before we can move forward in having a helpful relationship with one. That said, once we find one, it would be great to bring your target with all the sticky notes attached to it to one of your initial meetings with your mentor to kick off a discussion about where you are in your spiritual life and where you want to go.
Get it at the store...
So where would a great spiritual mentor be hanging out, what would he/she look like, and how do we connect? First, I recommend thinking about your current circle of friends and family. Is there someone who sticks out to you as one who has a strong relationships with God? If so, that person might be just the one for you to approach about a mentoring relationship. If there isn't anyone you can think of in that circle, then I recommend checking out a local church that you find inspiring.
Within a short time, if you are intentional, you will get a sense of individuals who take their walks with the Big Guy seriously and they may be open to having a cup of coffee with you and having a discussion about a mentoring relationship. Another approach would be to connect with a staff member or lead volunteer (e.g. teacher, elder or committee leader) and let them know you are seeking a spiritual mentor and see if they can help you and/or serve you in that way themselves.
Where the magic happens
Someone recently posted a great drawing on Facebook. It showed two circles. One was a small circle that was labeled "comfort zone." The other circle, off by itself, was a little bigger and was labeled "where the magic happens." When it comes to having a "real" relationship with God, it's definitely worth the risk of getting out of our comfort zones to find a spiritual mentor who can help us connect more deeply with the Big Guy.
As for what to do together once you connect, we'll save that for another post. There are a lot of Godly people out there who are great at connecting with the Big Guy, but don't necessarily know how to mentor someone else in their walk. That said, just spending time and "doing life" with a spiritually minded person will be refreshing to you and will encourage you to keep seeking a deeper relationship with God.
The sixth and last step in the creative problem solving process is Acceptance Finding. We will take that step in the next post and we'll be well on our way to having that "real" relationship with God that we yearn for way down deep inside.