Today is a tough day for me. I’m doing the funeral of my close friend and mentor Jimmy Holt.
About eight years ago I was facing a difficult time in my life as I believed ministry was over for me. I was planning on taking a job at a pharmaceutical company when Jimmy approached me about starting a new church in Nashville. Jimmy believed in me during a time when I couldn’t believe in myself.
The very first core group meeting we ever had to explore the possibilities of starting Cross Point was held at Jimmy’s home. He’s even responsible for the name of the church. I wanted to name in Cross Pointe (with an e). He told me that was a stupid idea because pointe (with an e) was actually a ballet move and I should call it Cross Point.
I don’t know if you have any friends who are a couple of generations older than you, but if you ever get the chance you should take advantage of such opportunities.
As a young leader there was (and still is) a certain wisdom I’m missing. A certain wisdom which can only be attained over years of experience. When our friendship started I was 27 and he was 75. Jimmy lent his wisdom to me over the past 8 years and I’ll be eternally grateful for his investment in my life.
Most of our friendship was spent playing golf together while he spoke into my life. We played dozens and dozens of rounds of golf covering 5 different states (I never beat him once despite the fact he couldn’t drive it over 150 yards).
Over the past 6 months as he was slowly dying the pain kept him from playing golf so I would go over to his house each Thursday and we would talk about leadership, family and our relationship with God.
He routinely reminded me even though I was young and felt like all of life was still before me I needed to remember that my days are numbered. We talked about Psalm 90:12 which says,
12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
He relentlessly reminded me…
- forgive those who have hurt you
- time goes by fast
- don’t leave things unsaid
- shortcuts don’t pay off
- be grateful for this moment, it’s all you have
- things don’t matter, people are all that count
Even in his final days he mentored me on how to not hold too tightly to this life.
Jimmy, you will be missed. Our church and my life will never be the same thanks to your generosity and leadership.
Do you have an older mentor/friend that pours into your life?