I didn’t hear about spiritual direction until I went to seminary. There I heard about this unique kind of relationship one can form with a spiritual director, and what is meant by “direct.” Rather than being a therapeutic relationship or counseling, spiritual directors are trained at directing another’s attention toward areas in one’s life that might be fertile ground for growth. Each director has a different style, but they all are skilled listeners. The “spiritual” part of direction is the connectivity that one’s life has with oneself, others, and that mysterious reality we call God. Healthy spirituality allows us to become more fully alive in our humanity. We’re all spiritual beings, whether we are conscious of it or not.
I’ve had three spiritual directors – one during my last year of seminary, one in Cincinnati, and in the last year I’ve begun meeting once every 6-8 weeks with a director in Columbus. What I have found most helpful is when I speak about something, am asked to go deeper in a particular area, or one of the words I chose, and we both sit there together as I mumble through what I think I might have meant by what I said. Usually it’s in that second or third run over that it starts to make more sense. Or I start to realize that I don’t actually know what I’m talking about and need more time to sit with it.
In my experience spiritual directors are gentle and nonjudgmental, but willing to ask pointed questions to stir new thoughts.
Several CMC folks have been trained as spiritual directors as well as past CMC pastors Susan Ortman Goering and Dan Schrock.
I’m very pleased that part of the Sabbatical grant has been designated for up to 24 CMCers to get a taste, 3 sessions, of spiritual direction. What would normally cost $150 per person is available for $25.
This Sunday we’ll have a Mission Moment about spiritual direction, and during the Sunday school hour Amanda Cushing from the Spirituality Network – which trains directors and matches them with directees – will lead a session for anyone who wants to know more about direction. And, oh yeah, sign-ups are open. Get your spot by contacting Mim Halterman. firstname.lastname@example.org
If it sounds uncomfortable then maybe it’s something you should try.