Friday, October 15, 2010

what wally would do

Jason carries around a piece of paper in his wallet that he will never discard. He takes this piece of paper with him into meetings and situations of all sorts. Contained on this piece of paper are words of advice that were given to him by his mentor Wally. As Jason prepared to begin ministry many years ago, this is what Wally said:

“Don’t be defensive.
Move toward your critics.
You have nothing to prove! Your best is good enough for God it will have to be good enough for everyone else.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

There were other things Wally told Jason that he will never forget. Included among these words of advice are:
“Avoid hitting the wall.
Always assume good motives in others because it’s better to be gullible than cynical.
Be honest and transparent.
When criticized, find the truth and MOVE ON!!
Don’t be overworked.
Don’t let your mind play tricks on you.
Attribute good motives to people.
You don’t have all the answers.
Remember that 99% of conflict happens from misunderstanding not malice.
Allow those who lead with you to ask you hard questions and don’t be defensive.”

Jason has had many years of ministry and he is still going strong today, thanks to these wise words from his mentor.

Wally passed away earlier this year. It’s easy to see why people would say things about him that we all would like to have spoken about us when we die. Reflecting on the example of Wally’s life, people said things like:

“I can’t begin to tell you how much this man’s life has impacted who I am and what I am called to do and be.”

“…in terms of wisdom, longevity, Christ-likeness and graciousness Wally had no equal!”

“… we weren’t just ‘grandfather and grandson,’ we were also close friends.”

“Wally Norling was a great man, although I doubt he thought of himself that way. He was the most humble, wise, and kind person that I’ve ever known.”

I write this today because my mentor Jay is connected to Wally through a friend he made while serving as a missionary in Venezuela. Many years after Jay lived in Venezuela, he moved to Spain. I am grateful to God for bringing Jay into my life. Like Wally, he’s seen a lot and done a lot. He’s learned many valuable lessons and has humbly passed those lessons on to others. I am glad to be one of those that Jay has invested his life in. Hopefully, I will apply what Jay has taught by word and example.

Hopefully, like Wally, I’ll finish well.

Lord, may my life be marked by grace. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Troy. I needed to read a lot of that list...