Lets face it. We don’t like to admit that we are lost, especially not us guys. It sounds quite stereotypical but it is definitely true in my case. I always had a good sense of direction and am pretty good at reading maps. So, asking someone for direction is pretty much a last resort, and yet there have been times when I had to admit that I was hopelessly lost and had to ask a complete stranger to show me the way.
It is one thing to be lost in the endless corridors of an international airport, and the worst that can happen is that we miss our flight. But there is one area where “being lost” can have grave consequences for our lives and those around us. You guessed it - I am talking about being lost spiritually. We all had help coming into the Kingdom. Most of us were invited in by someone else, and if not then chances are that we were “prayed in”. But once we have become part of God’s family we are pretty much left to navigate our own journey. Of course there are weekly sermons, and hopefully the fellowship of a small group, but there are times when we need more than that to help us see the path ahead.
Did you know that spiritual direction is an ancient form of soul care that goes back to the earliest days of the church? It is a one-on-one relationship organised around prayer and conversation directed towards intimacy with God. Spiritual direction has a very clear agenda: directing our attention to the presence of God in our lives.
In modern lingo we call people who help us with that “Spiritual Directors”, and many don’t like the sound of that. It just sounds so bossy, but it actually accurately describes the role quite well. They give us direction and guidance by joining us on our journey and helping us to make sense of the witness of the Spirit - assisting us to respond well to the question, “how is God present to me, and how is God at work in my life?”
A spiritual director is like Eli who urged young Samuel to be attentive, to recognise the present voice of God and to respond appropriately. I don’t know about you, but I think we all could use a little help with that.
In this day and age we are blessed with the technology to help us connect in that way even across vast distances, so why not take advantage of it and find that person that can join our voyage of grace for a season?