It has been said, we stand on the shoulders of giants to reach new heights. Each generation offers something to encourage and inspire those who follow as an uninterrupted chain. Hebrews 11 is a list of imperfect people who set an example of faith. This list forms the start of my mentors in the faith. Sarah laughed and yet became the mother of nations. I have no desire to be recorded as a matriarch of society. Instead of seeking to imitate their accomplishments, I seek to imitate their faith by following the path God has for me. These stories show God is faithful both to call His people and to lead them.
My faith mentors include individuals I have encountered over the years. My grade three Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Jones, instilled the value of reading the Bible not just hearing the stories. Mrs. Sheppard and Sarah Wall set an example of encouragement backed by prayer. There are many more that could be named and I fear I would miss some.
There are similar examples in my creative life as well. I grew up reading just about anything I could get my hands on from 'Winnie the Pooh' to 'Charlotte's Web'; from Anne of Green Gables to Nancy Drew. Libraries opened a world of characters and places I could inhabit through imagination. Mystery, fantasy, biography, adventure, the list of styles and genres I read is extensive. I can not stomach horror and do not enjoy romance much. I will not write horror and said I would not write romance. I had to take that back when family encouraged me to read some romance and give writing it a try. Ass a result, a very rough draft sits on my shelf waiting for further attention. From that experience, I learned not to say never because the unexpected happens. Influences and mentors come from unexpected places and in unexpected ways. Some mentors I have sought out, such as when I read the published journals of L. M. Montgomery, others surprised me.
In life and in craft, I seek to keep my eyes and ears open. There are things that can be learned everywhere because God is everywhere and He is moulding us for His purposes in order to shine His light into the world. I pray I pay attention to His direction with a willingness to follow where He is leading me. Then I may become a link in the chain of examples for those who follow.