Today’s post come from our own Daniel Kosmala. Daniel has been working for Radical Mentoring the past 2.5 years and has done a fantastic job. Today is Daniel’s last day as he starts a new job on Monday. We will miss Daniel, but are very grateful for the work he has done over the past two years and for the place he leaves Radical Mentoring in. As he leaves, he shares a word with us about what it feels like to be mentored, may it be an encouragement and a challenge to you . . .
I make the majority of my decisions at a gut-level. I rarely rely on deep logic, data, collective reasoning, or lists to help me through my mental processing. Instead I use my intuition and depend heavily upon how I feel (my gut reaction) about things to make my choices. Sure, it’s gotten me into a bind or two, but more often than not my gut serves me well. It’s been through a few decades of refinery and revision in helping me get where I am, but I’d rather trust my gut than a sheet of numbers.
I say all of this to let you know that nothing I’m going to say on here is data-driven. It’s not necessarily calculated or even logical, but it’s feels right and it’s from my heart.
Mentoring does not feel natural, but friendship does.
Friendships can develop without any sort of effort, but mentoring requires dedication and intentionality.
My first real friendship with an older, wiser guy began in 2013. I had just started working for Radical Mentoring and had no idea that my life would be dramatically impacted over the next two years as an older, wiser guy consistently poured into me as both a friend and mentor.
Before 2013, I’d never had a friend who was so much older than me. Not trying to be an ‘age-ist’ or anything, but I just didn’t have access to older guys and most friendships happen in community. Not many of us are in community with people where a 40-year age gap exists.
I’ve always been told I have an old soul so I shouldn’t be surprised that I often feel more at home sitting among a group of 50 and 60 year olds than I do going out to a restaurant with a bunch of 20-somethings.
Getting in community with like-minded men, regardless of the age differences present, has changed my life.
Mentoring says we have access to each other. We’re in community and we are intentionally working together for the benefit of one another. We committed to each other and to a process where wisdom, knowledge and life experience are exchanged and leveraged for the benefit of others.
In the context of Radical Mentoring, as a mentee, I was able to get on the same page as my mentor. We spent time together. We read the same books. We memorized the same scriptures. We talked about the same issues we have faced and are facing. We intentionally set aside time to be together. We were both regularly vulnerable with one another.
But my mentoring experience has had something that not every mentor-mentee relationship has. Something that can make a break an experience for either party. Something that without, I would completely question the integrity of the experience.
Without a mentor who doubles as a friend and not just any friend, but a close friend . . .the mentoring relationship will never live up to it’s potential.
Because I fully trust my friend, I am more receptive to listening to him and leveraging his life experience to help me. Because I fully trust my friend, I know I am safe with him and can be completely vulnerable. Because I fully trust my friend, I am totally confident in his ability to push me deeper in my walk with God and to more fully lean on Jesus.
With those things in mind, I am even more receptive to his mentorship. I am eager for it. And when it is over in a few weeks, I will miss it greatly.
Mentoring does not last forever, but friendship can.
Because my mentor chose to be highly intentional and deeply vulnerable with me . . . we not only bonded quickly, but were able to take our friendship deeper than it might have gone otherwise.
I am lucky to call this older guy, not only a mentor, but a best friend. He is among one of the best friends that I have ever had. And I never saw it coming.
Because I was mentored by my friend the trajectories of my walk with Christ, my marriage and my life have been completely altered. And for that I am forever grateful.
I am and will always be an advocate for mentoring (especially Radical Mentoring)!
Most of all I will be forever grateful to my mentor and more importantly my friend for seeing in me what I did not see in myself.
“It has been a joy to invest in Daniel over these last two years. The Radical Mentoring “tribe” says thanks and prays God’s blessing over Daniel in his new endeavor.” -Regi Campbell
If you wish to comment or send Daniel a word of encouragment, you can do so here.
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