“and from the age of fifty years they shall retire from the duty of the service and serve no more. They may assist their brothers in the tent of meeting in carrying out their duties, but they shall perform no service. Thus you shall do with the Levites in assigning their duties” (Numbers 8:25-26 NRSV).
In reading Numbers 8 I noticed an interesting idea for me this year! I’m 50 and the text suggests that the Levities working in the Tabernacle be chosen from men in their twenties and when they turn 50, they can retire from the heavy lifting of tent poles and animal sacrifices, but they may assist.
How were they to assist? By mentoring they younger men with their duties. There was built into Israel’s life a way of bringing up new, younger men and women to work by calling on the older men and women to retire from certain duties but still advise the younger and less experienced of their tribes and clans.
Mentoring is a sacred duty that is practiced as parents, supervisors, teachers, administrators, managers, neighbors, and coaches. What are other roles you could add to the list?
Do you mentor anyone? If you are older than fifty, you might consider that mentoring is a natural next step for you. Do you have mentors? If you are younger than thirty, you might consider finding people to mentor you as a next step.
God who designs community, retirement with certain responsibilities of mentoring, help us to discern when we should seek to be mentored and when we need to mentor others. Help us be aware of the very specific ways we need to be mentored or mentor, and help us not shrink back from the duty of mentoring or being mentored for certain duties, missions, callings in our walk with you.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.