spiritual direction

One of the most beneficial endeavors I have undertaken in seminary is my commitment to monthly spiritual direction meetings. Meeting once a month with someone that is showing up specifically to listen and help me discern the movement of the spirit in my daily life is really quite rewarding. It is a powerful experience to sit in a room with someone, knowing that their whole being is ready to receive whatever you may have to share. Sitting in silence with another and waiting for the spirit to move in the room, encouraging you to divulge those spiritual, emotional, and practical aspects of your life that you feel need the most intention, is unlike anything else that you can experience. It is a rare gift that a spiritual director can offer to us, particularly in our busy lives where most people we come in contact with have an ulterior motive (both good and bad) for engaging in conversation with us.

Recognizing God’s grace in our daily lives is vitally important to our spiritual well-being. However, it can be very hard for us to recognize God’s grace active in our lives. It is easy to see those areas that are causing us stress, anxiety, anger, disappointment, happiness, fulfillment, and joy. It is much harder to step back in those moments and look for God working in them (particularly in those moments that we don’t often associate with God). By unpacking these events through reflection with another, we enable the movement of the Holy Spirit to be made clear. We begin to understand that these moments of challenge or joy hold examples of God’s grace, and that it is through God’s grace that we can reflect on these moments and begin to understand how they impact our lives and relationships.

Now, I know that not everyone can go out and find a spiritual director tomorrow. I’m lucky enough to have this resource made readily available by the seminary. However, I do not think that should stop us from trying to engage in this type of conversation with a trusted friend, confidant, or mentor. Finding someone that you feel comfortable exposing your soul to, so that they may help you discover God’s work in your life, can only be beneficial for your long-term spiritual health. When we humble ourselves before another, we are making a radical statement of trust and hope for the future.

Being that sounding board is also a practice that we are all called to as followers of Christ, serving those who come to us asking for help. When we humble ourselves to the point that we are willing to listen to another with no agenda of our own, we are showing that ultimate form of Christian charity and love. By being the example of Christ in this world, in an intimate setting with another who is willing to bare their soul to you, we are sharing in the life-long ministry that is being a Christian.

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