Why your spiritual health is so important
“Always God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it.” Eugene Peterson
What is spiritual direction?
Where can I go to talk about what’s happening with God and me?
Spiritual direction is listening to God together--asking for ears to hear and eyes to see what God is doing in the ordinary experience of a person's life. It is grounded in a true belief that God is always working for good.
Spirituality is discussed across many faith traditions, but in Christian Spiritual Direction, we listen, pray and discern based on Biblical understanding of God as the Father, Son and Spirit, each active in our lives.
Christian spiritual direction has a long and rich history. Spiritual directors have been likened over the centuries to midwives—those who wait patiently, hopefully, and skillfully with others, as God births new life in them.
In the midst of our busy lives, spiritual direction offers deep companionship for the soul, which may be difficult to find in many contemporary church settings. Leaders and pastors often benefit from spiritual direction. They serve others, and need a safe place for themselves.
Anyone who is serious about their spiritual growth can benefit from spiritual direction.
Susan Currie, director of the Selah spiritual direction training program says, "spiritual direction is God-oriented rather than goal-oriented—giving one's attention to God rather than to a particular problem that needs to be fixed or behavior that needs to be modified. It is responsive rather than directive, listening together to the Holy Spirit's presence and ways rather than the director telling the directee what to do.”
The director's respectful and patiently attentive hospitality provides a safe and sacred space for the directee to feel safe to open up as they choose, consider their current relationship with God, and prayerfully listen and respond to God’s invitations for deepening perspective and intimacy.
How does it work?
After an initial introductory conversation about ourselves and spiritual direction, and confirming that direction is wanted, we meet once a month for about an hour, either in person or remotely. The session will begin with prayer, silence and often scripture. The directee is free to talk about any aspect of her life. Everything said during the session remains there, and nothing is judged. The director prays, listens, asks open-ended questions, makes observations, and, from time to time, offers a suggestion. Almost always there are times of silence during the session. Sometimes there is laughter, sometimes there are tears.
How long do people go to spiritual direction?
Each direction relationship is unique. Some last for months, and some last for years. It is important for the director to receive feedback from the directee, and to reassess the desire to continue direction at regular intervals, so that the directee/director may discern if time has come to change or end the direction relationship.
Financial arrangements will be discussed at the initial meeting, and arrangements can be adapted as needed.
A Simple Pause offers individual and group spiritual direction.
“The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a person’s life, to get behind the façade of conventional gestures and attitudes which they present to the world, and to bring out their inner spiritual freedom, their inmost truth, which is what we call the likeness of Christ in their soul.”
Biblically based Soul Care
- Spiritual direction-God focused spiritual accompaniment- what is God doing?
- Discipleship- content focused. Learning the “basics of the faith”- Bible study, prayer, church attendance.
- Mentoring- content focused Christian lifestyle training.
- Counseling- problem focused help for personal issues.
- Pastoral counseling- problem/issue focused help for spiritual issues.