If you want to be a great banker or golfer or parent, it is important to seek out people who are already accomplished in whatever field you choose. Learn from them, play the game with them, hang out with them, experience how it is done with them, be challenged by them. I think this is also true in the spiritual life. If you want to grow in relationship with God, it is a great help to be with others who are already ahead of you on that road.

Today’s first reading recounts just such a relationship between the young Elisha and the old and wise prophet Elijah. It is a beautiful relationship in which Elisha wants to be at Elijah’s side at all times in order to soak up all that Elijah was. In response to Elijah’s question, “Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you,” Elisha requests “may I receive a double portion of your spirit.”

Who are the people in my life to whom I might make the same request as did Elisha?

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.