I understand spiritual direction to be an intentional relationship focused on paying attention to the working of God in all aspects and areas of a person’s life. All too often we go through life blind to the way that the Spirit of God is at work all around us. We are distracted by the “noise” and busyness of our daily routines and all too easily miss how God is seeking to guide and direct us. At other times we may be aware of God working and moving in our lives but choose to put off thinking about what that movement could mean for who we are becoming as we move toward maturity. We plan for vacations, retirement, the weekend, our next big purchase but let our spiritual development simply happen without giving it a second thought.
Spiritual Direction is a special relationship whose focus is to help people look for God’s activity within every area of their life experience. Spiritual direction is a safe place to explore your questions and concerns about your life with God.
Participating in spiritual direction has helped me draw closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of His leading guiding and directing.
• Spiritual direction is an interpersonal relationship in which we learn how to grow, live, and love in the spiritual life.
• Spiritual direction involves a process through which one person helps another person understand what God is doing and saying.
• Spiritual direction provides a place to notice, reflect, discern and discover where and how God is active in our everyday lives.
• Spiritual direction is about responding to God’s invitation to draw closer in relationship. It is meant to help a person learn how to be attentive to God’s presence in his or her life and to make choices based on that awareness.
People seek Spiritual Direction for many reasons:
For some people Spiritual Direction is a way of deepening and strengthening a relationship with God and the Spiritual Life they have already experienced.
Some people come to Spiritual Direction with a desire for greater structure or discipline in their spiritual practice. Others who have been held captive by a spirit of legalism surrounding the spiritual disciplines find great freedom and experience a renewed desire to grow as they practice Spiritual Direction.
For some people, Spiritual Direction is a natural way of fully engaging their faith as they continue to live out a faith they learned at an earlier age. Some come to Spiritual Direction without any kind of formal spiritual practice or connection to a spiritual community but desire to explore the spiritual dimensions of their life.
People involved in other forms of counseling, therapy or engaged in 12-step recovery programs can benefit from Spiritual Direction. The companionship, support, and encouragement are helpful and sometimes they discover spiritual resources which provide a different perspective to their life experiences.
Spiritual Direction can be a path towards healing for those who have experienced hurt and pain at the hand of uncaring religious institutions. If someone has experienced alienation or condemnation from a religious institution it can cause them to “give up” on their relationship with God. Spiritual Direction provides a space for you and your director to focus solely on your relationship with God without all the “baggage” that comes with institutional life. It can be a first step toward healing and transformation.