The Mentoring Mentor

Starting this write-up has been hard because I do not know how to start. Crafting the stories in my head (they have been roaming there for free for more than 3 years) has been — not so great. But I have taken my own pill — start by starting. So I am starting anyway. No intro. No mid-story. Just doing it. Energizing my inner “Nike”. Here we go.

Two stories in the Bible always intrigue me on this topic. The two power combo that defined history had a relationship that did not look like a mentoring relationship but alas you find mentorship between the lines. One is Ruth and Naomi. The other is Herodias and her daughter.

Ruth was a reverse migrant who took her marriage vows many notches higher. Death did not keep her apart from her mother in law, Naomi. She wondered what would become of the old woman and decided to spend her life tending for her. She was not ignorant of the consequences of her decision.

Ruth & Naomi painting by Yael Harris Resnick

As she tended to Naomi, who had nothing to offer her, she ran into a wealthy man. It would have been easy to have said “My day in the sun has come”. But she did the unthinkable — tell her mother-in-law about the guy “toasting” her.

Ruth was wise.

She was in a foreign land and went to the person who knew more about the place to give her wisdom on how to deal with the situation at hand. She went to someone with “local” knowledge. She went to someone who could easily get her information. She went to someone who had her back.

Ruth Chapter 3 (it can be read in 2 minutes) details the advice Naomi gave on the matter. It was a piece of sure-fire advice. Naomi directed her on what to do when next she met the man. Naomi’s advice practically fast-forwarded things…that led to marriage.

The wise words of a mentor can get you farther and further than you hoped.

When a damsel impressed a king and the king out of excitement said “ask for anything”, the damsel did not ask for just anything. She asked for, what only a king could do. Welcome to the world of Herod and Herodias with John The Baptist at the intersection.

It was Herod’s birthday and the guest list featured “the who is who” of the land and day. Fine wine, gourmet food and merriment were flowing. Everyone was having a good time. Then a song came through the windpipes. It caught the attention of many. Even the king was nodding as the sound wafts through. At one corner of the room was a girl, doing justice to the song. She added belly dancing moves that made Shakira look like an amateur. Her leg work was far superior to Poco Lee. Every move synced with the song. Her dance moves and the song became one. She was born for this.

The king looked properly. It was his stepdaughter. He heard whispers “this geh sabi dance oh”. When the damsel was done, I presume there was a standing ovation. The king could not hide his excitement. He was happy his guests were entertained and this dance was the zenith of the party that moved the mood into that of an elixir. The dance was the talk of the party and it made the evening news. Tiktok and Twitter trended it. Tatafoos carried the news with angelic precision. Facebook was buzzed up. All within minutes.

The king was delighted. And wanted to reward someone who had made his birthday memorable. He put forward his reward ; “ask for anything” — thinking he was talking to a common girl.

If Herod thought her dance moves were great, he underestimated what was going to hit him next. This girl’s wisdom was greater than her dances. Na brain dem dey take dance. In her wisdom, she went to her counselor. She went to Mama. Mama always knows best.

Welcome to mentorship.

Mama sat her down and said, “you know my union with the king is under question”. “Do you know the implication of it?”

The dancing damsel said “no”.

“It means, that we can be kicked out of this fine palace at any moment.”

But there is a way to stop that. If we eliminate the purveyor of that rhetoric, then we can live in peace”. The dancing damsel nodded in agreement.

Now look at me, Herodias whispered “I know you want iPhone 16. I know that Balenciaga’s dress we saw yesterday is in your eyes. Do not ask for them”.

“But Mummy why”, she asked.

Herodias looked straight into her eyes and said “Because I want to give you iPhone 17, 18, 19 and whatsoever series comes out as long as I live. I was Louis Vuitton to be the palace draper. You will be tired of Balenciaga if you will do what I am going to tell you”

In excitement, the belly dancer smiled and said “Mummy, your words are what I am going to say. I will say it just as you say it”

“Good girl”, Herodias said. She continued “Ask for the head of John the Baptist. He is the one that is standing in the way of us being recognized as royalties. Me as the Queen and you as the princess that you are. He is the reason, why the scriptures recorded this event without knowing your name. He is the reason why people think we are illegitimate. If he is out of the equation, we will be enthroned”.

“Mummy is that not killing?” She asked.

Herodias said “Nwababy, Omomi, Adiaha….look at it this way — you are not the one that will execute him. You are only making a request. His blood shall be on the king and not on us. Yours is to make the request.”

“Your point makes perfect sense Mummy”.

Herodias smiled and then told her “Make haste and go back to the king. You cannot keep him waiting”.

The rest is history.

You can see how these two older women mentored the other younger women. One for good and one for evil. Anyhow you look at it, both women were mentored into their destinies. One became the ancestor of Jesus Christ and the other was famous for aiding and abetting the killing of the greatest prophet that ever lived. One brought life into a lifeless and hopeless situation, the other made disciples be shepherd-less and Elizabeth and Zachariah mourn.

Be careful whom you listen to because their words affect you. Their thinking affects the way you see life.

Look at your life through heaven’s eyes and then decide, whom you will follow to take you on the track to heaven in your daily decisions.

Who are you listening to?

Is it Naomi or Herodias?

You can be mentored into “good” or “evil”.

The choice is yours.

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Gabriel OMIN

Family Conscious. Eclectic Mind. Faith Inspired. Personal Finance. Biz Consulting. Entrepreneurship