OK...we're winding our way through the six steps of the creative problem solving process in order to "soup up" (sticking with our kitchen metaphor) our relationship with God. By way of reminder (see last three posts) the six steps are:
- Objective Finding
- Fact Finding
- Problem Finding
- Idea Finding
- Solution Finding
- Acceptance Finding
In the last post, working on the problem finding step, we decided to focus on the problem statement: “In what ways might I have a relationship with someone who can help me have a real relationship with the Big Guy?”
In many of today's reality TV shows, including the ones on the Food Network, we sometimes see people in an "apprentice" mode working with masters or, sometimes, competing under their guidance, It makes sense. To become a master at something, what better way than to study under a master of the discipline we are pursuing?
So how do I find a mentor and what do I do when I've found one?
A great Idea Finding creative thinking tool is "random word." I just (literally) found a great random word generator site: http://watchout4snakes.com/CreativityTools/RandomWord/RandomWord.aspx. If you go to this site, it will offer a randomly selected noun for you. I just now clicked on it and was offered the word "fiber." To use the "random word" tool, list out all the attributes of your word, and ideas that it brings to your mind, and then make connections to the task at hand, in this case, developing a relationship with a spiritual mentor.
Using the word "fiber," take a minute to make a list of attributes. Here's a "quick" list...
- It's good for your health
- Doesn't always taste good
- Need to have with something else
- Can talk to people with it (optical fiber)
- Maybe a clue (i.e. found a piece of fiber at the scene)
- The smallest most essential parts (every fiber of my being)
- Get it at the store, or health food store
- Use it regularly to be "regular"
Of course, your list would be much longer, but we can use the one above as an example. The idea that "it's good for your health" reinforces the importance of, and great need we have for, a spiritual mentor in our life. "Cereal" for me brings to mind the morning time. A good time to meet with a spiritual mentor is in the morning before work or school. I've been meeting with a mentor every Thursday morning at 6:30am for more than 25 years. "Doesn't always taste good" reminds me that mentors sometimes tell us things we do not like to hear, things that provoke us to move out of our comfort zones.
You usually don't eat fiber by itself. "Need to have with something else" makes me think of having a book to discuss with a mentor. "Can talk to people" may encourage you to spend time talking to the Big Guy with your mentor. "Maybe a clue" could lead to things coming up in conversation that could be clues to areas of further exploration about your spiritual life.
"The smallest most essential parts" may be an encouragement to share the details of your life, especially your shortcomings, so that you may experience the joy of forgiveness and acceptance from another person. "Get it at the store, or health food store" may be a clue as to where to find the kind of mentor you are looking for. You could "go to church" and "shop" for a mentor. As you read the ingredients on a food product, look at the ingredients of your potential mentor's life (family life, reputation, walk with God, etc.) and see if it's what you are looking for and wanting to become (you are what you eat). And, last on the list, "Use it regularly" speaks to the importance of spending consistent time with your mentor.
Our next step is Solution Finding. It's where we will hone in on how to enact the ideas we've generated. Then we'll be on our way to connecting with a mentor who will help us connect with the Big Guy so we can have that "real" relationship with God that we so desire!