I currently have 3 Spiritual Mentors. Two are dead and one is alive. Amy Carmichael lived at the early part of this century, and spent most of her life in Southern India, bedridden, yet running an orphange for 300+ "temple children" she rescued from horriffic lives as child slaves. Corrie Ten Boom lived in Amsterdam, Holland in the Netherlands during the middle part of this Century. Corrie and her family were Christ-followers who hid Jews in their own home during the Holocaust, and were all sent to the concentration camps when they were caught. Corrie's entire family were killed. She was the only relative to emerge alive. Gail MacDonald is alive and well in New Hampshire. She and her husband have served in full time ministry for 40+ years, and have been down many roads I am constantly learning from. I feel like Amy and Corrie hold my hands, and Gail walks behind me, guiding me and showing me the next way to go.
I think it is important for every person who calls themselves a follower of Christ to get a mentor, whether they are alive or dead ones. There are so many fascinating biographies of Christians who have withstood absolutely remarkable odds and given Jesus the glory for the things He accomplished through their adversity and trials.
If you don't have a mentor, find one! I think the dead ones are the best ones, because you have a complete picture of thier lives. (although, I am very happy Gail is alive and so I can chat with her semi-regurlarly)
I would recommend not just reading one book about the mentor you choose, read several! One author tends to write from a certain perspective, maybe glorifying details of the life of whomever they are writing about. I like to get lots of angles and perspectives to get a bigger picture of the person's life.
Aside from daily Bible reading, I have found that choosing to study the lives of those who have gone before me to be one of the most helpful and effective methods of Spiritual disciplines for me. I think about Amy, Corrie, and Gail on almost a daily basis. "Would Amy be complaining about nail polish?" "Would Corrie complain about the lump in my pillow?" "Would Gail be gossipping about this person or that person?"
I carry these friends close to my heart. I'm glad I've met one face to face on this side of eternity. I get to go visit Gail later this week, and I can not wait! I can not wait to meet the other two on the other side.
Who are your mentors? I'd love to hear about who they are and why you chose them!