In the spring of 2012 a few of my friends flew over to Germany for a visit. During our week together I strove to give them the opportunity to experience many of the things I had come to love about Germany. One day, we were on a beautiful hike through the Black Forest and the conversation on the trails led down a path of depth and seriousness. We were firing questions at each other that forced you to search deep inside yourself. One question was asked that I have not forgotten, “In your life, who is your Paul and who is your Timothy?”
The question stems from the New Testament characters and the example of mentorship these two provided. A quick translation of the question would be; Who is spiritually pouring into you, and who are you spiritually pouring into?
That question seems to paint such a beautiful picture of discipleship – as one person pours into another, who in turn goes to walk alongside somebody else.
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to have dinner with a man who has poured into me over the past six years. It is funny, because our relationship initially started as a result of us having a mutual interest in the Green Bay Packers (Some may say interest is too light of a word and perhaps obsession is more accurate). From that developed a close relationship where I was being mentored and poured into. Sometimes it was in a very direct way, where I came and asked questions and sought guidance on how to handle certain situations. Other times, it was simply by observing the way in which he lived his life. The way he interacted with students, the way he demonstrated his passion for God, the way he showered his family with love. For one of my years in Germany, he and his family were stateside. Throughout that entire year it felt as though something was missing, and it wasn’t quite right – mainly it was the absence of my Paul.
Ironically, his son became a Timothy. I knew of his son when he was in 7th grade, but did not start to get to know him until I was his coach during his junior year. Throughout the season I quickly became aware of how solid of a guy he was and how much joy and enthusiasm for life he had. I was honored that he would let me into his life, and allow me the opportunity to walk beside him. Even though I was not present for his senior year, we continued to stay in touch and talk monthly about school, athletics, and life.
As we were getting ready to part ways, I wanted to snap a quick picture to prove our time together actually happened. In the days since, The picture provided the inspiration for today’s blog, as I am standing with my Paul, and Timothy.