Recently, I completed a two-year course of study to become trained in a centuries-old practice known as spiritual direction. In case you’ve never heard of this before, I define spiritual direction as an intentional process whereby one person helps another notice, honor, and respond freely to God’s presence and activity in their life. As a spiritual director, I seek to cooperate with God in nurturing an open space where others can come to God just as they are...to experience what it means to be the Beloved of God.
Friday, September 3, 2021
I love the simplicity and the process of spiritual direction because I see a lot of playfulness in it. Did you know I happen to be passionate about play?!
Though the phrase “spiritual direction” might not sound very playful, time and time again, I have seen the spirit of play embodied in our midst as the person seeking God’s direction experiences freedom, grace, joy, and openness in their relationship with God. In spiritual direction, we engage our imagination and become more childlike (trusting) in our faith.
Like play, spiritual direction is not a pre-planned program. Each session has an improvisational feel to it as we simply listen to what is being said and as we open ourselves to what God might want to say in the spirit of love, just love. We bring the stuff of our real life to the interaction and attune our hearts to the very heart of God, bringing Scripture to bear and applying the gentle, compassionate, and gracious way of Jesus to our lives.
In the midst of such an interaction, we cultivate the spirit of self-forgetfulness (which is also a characteristic of play) as we attend fully to God’s presence in our midst right here...right now.
I’ve become convinced that these kinds of interactions are sorely needed in a world that scarcely slows down long enough to really listen. It saddens me that in our society today we have become increasingly violent towards one another in thought, word, and deed. In that light, spiritual direction is a countercultural way of being with one another, so I am looking forward to practicing it more and more with those who may be interested in it.
I wonder if you sense that spiritual direction could be a help to you in your life? If so, I’ve prepared a sign-up form where you can find out more details about it. If you have any questions or want to talk with me more about it, feel free to reach out via a private message.
In any case: may God’s love and joy, grace and freedom flourish in your life!