The fourth person Leonard Sweet says that I need in my life (in his book "11") is a Timothy. I need to be mentoring someone to step into my ministry sandals someday. A Timothy is a protege', a spiritual heir, an apprentice, a younger and less mature version of myself.
He says Paul was a Timothy to Gamaliel. Jesus was a Timothy to John the Baptist. John Mark was a Timothy to Peter. Joshua was a Timothy to Moses. They walked and talked with their mentors. They traveled life's road with their mentors for years. They absorbed by spiritual osmosis the positive traits of their mentors by regular and repeated exposure to them.
Who is my Timothy? Who is going to be my spiritual heir? Whom will I love and care for in such a way that he/she will become my spiritual descendant? Someone to whom I entrust the lessons of faith I've been learning these 40 years that I've been saved?
Am I deliberately searching for someone I can mentor, Lord? Maybe she is a fast pupil and I get to see her mature and race on ahead of me spiritually. Timothy is not to be my clone. No, my Timothy is to learn all he can from me then leave me behind as he walks head-on in the direction You call him to live out. I'm not supposed to Timothy someone to replicate me. I'm supposed to equip someone to out-step me, to race ahead of me in the direction-probably a different direction-that You point out for her.
I remember some Timothy's from my past. F.H., C.H., S.A. But that was then. What about now?Who is walking and talking with me as I serve you in ministry? Who am I intentionally influencing to love You and others and to walk humbly with You for the rest of her life? To whom am I intentionally showing the power of prayer? Into whom am I pouring the joy of sacrificial service? The power of surrender to You? The wisdom of loving people in spite of who they are?
Who is the intentional witness to the demonstration of Your life lived out in me?
Have you thought of someone yet, Little One? I can think of a few right now. Perhaps these Timothy's will pass you. Perhaps their steps will match your stride only after you die. You're not responsible for their spiritual gait after you're gone. You're responsible to help them keep in cadence right now and you're responsible to not leave them behind eating your dust.
It's kind of like teaching a child to ride a two-wheeler. You don't run ahead of her yelling, "Come on! You can do it. Keep up with me!" No, you walk beside her holding onto that bike for a while. Then you run behind her holding onto the back of the seat. You cheer her on and help her keep her balance until she is steady and confident. Then, one finger at a time you let go. You watch her wobble, veer, then regain her balance and take off. You stand there grinning, applauding, ya-hooing as she rides on without you.
Tell Me, Little One: whose bike seat are you holding onto right now?