Archive | September, 2011

Unlikely Mentors

Do you know that God strategically places people in your life to achieve His plan for you?

Do you know that he strategically places you in people’s lives to achieve His plan for them? It’s true and it’s important for you to be aware of it.

I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors in my life. Men and women of God who have help shape the person I am and I’m grateful for their contributions to my life.

But some of the people God has used have been people I would have least expected to make a difference in my life. I’ve discovered God’s not limited by whom He can use.

Hal was a classic example. He was an abrasive, belligerent bully and, to say the least, was not well liked in the Dallas broadcasting market. In fact, I remember when a local sportswriter, offended by one of his sports commentaries, kicked him down a flight of stairs at a sports luncheon. I was not aware of Hal’s reputation when he hired me as a rookie radio announcer, but I found out soon enough.

Strangely, Hal liked me and took an interest in me. He took time to teach me the business. He was a tough guy, but he and I got along and I really liked him. It had to be God because one evening in a fit of anger, he walked into the control room and fired the host of the jazz show on the spot and sat down and finished the show himself. Later, I asked him what he intended to do about a host and he said he had no idea.  So on a lark, I asked him if he would give me a shot at it and amazingly he said yes.

It was an incredible opportunity. Since I knew nothing about Jazz, I went out and found a jazz expert who had the best jazz collection in the Southwest and we launched a new Jazz show called, Just Gentle Jazz, a nightly call-in request show. It quickly became the hottest show on KMAP-FM and it helped me to gain enough confidence to believe I could go on to better things. And now, Hal really saw me as his protégé.

My most lasting memory of Hal was the day he walked into the control room put his arm around me, gave me a hug and said something I’ve never forgotten. It’s helped me keep things in perspective. “Kid,” he said, “I like you. You don’t have a lot of talent, but you’re a hard worker and I’m gonna make something outa ya.”

It took me a minute to process it, but then I got it. Hal was reaching out in the best way he knew how. Not smooth, but he wasn’t a smooth guy.  On the contrary, he was rough cut, coarse and abrasive and certainly not a Christian.

But it was as if God was speaking to me through Hal. I was just a young kid struggling with my identity and self-doubt. I was painfully aware of my personal limitations. But through Hal, God was telling me He knew who I was, and He had a plan for my life and He would make up the difference if I would just keep showing up. Hal wasn’t “gonna make something outa me.” God was going to do it. Hal didn’t realize how powerful those words were, but they still resonant with who I am today.

So here are some things to remember…

  • Everyone you meet should add something to your life.
  • Add something to the life of every person you meet.
  • You’re never too old to be mentored as long as you’re humble enough to learn from someone else.
  • You’re never too old to mentor as long as you’re willing to pour who you are and what you know into someone else’s life.

Something to think about. Thanks for joining me and keep showing up.

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