People will often ask me: "What happens in Spiritual Direction? What do you do--go through the Bible, or a book together?"
Although readings can be helpful, the movement of spiritual direction is not just going from the outside in, but also moving from the inside out.
What is going on in their inner world related to God, self, body, relationships, vocations, station in life? And what does God want to share with them about those things?
It has taken a lot of work for me over the years to identify what I am feeling and carrying internally, and to understand how critical the inner world is to my spiritual vitality.
Perhaps you can relate.
Maybe you don’t know how important your soul is, or haven’t been taught how to identify what is going on inside yourself.
Or maybe you have been leading, wrangling kids, fighting traffic, caring for others, or been busy achieving that the whispers of your soul have been quieted.
Awhile ago, I was in a season where I was over running, over spending, and overriding my soul. Driving past Mission Valley looking at all the shimmering lights of the buildings and the setting of the sun, I heard this passage whisper in my soul:
What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than our soul? Matthew 16:26
This was not the first time I had heard that refrain. It was a reminder that although things looked good on the outside, I knew that deep down my soul was not well.
The Greek word for "soul" in this passage means "the breathe of life”, referring to the element of life. It is where we "catch our breath", where life within us is sustained, from where our spiritual vitality flows.
And according to this Scripture, it is the highest earthly commodity one could value.
What is going on in your soul today?
If you feel disconnected from your inner world, what has "sucked the life" out of you? Any of the below seem to fit? (Think of this as a kind of "dashboard"--lights that may be warning you that something inward needs attention.)
- Lack of relational intimacy
- Unprocessed loss and grief
- Living at a non-sustainable pace
- Feeling unclear about who you are
- Not knowing what you want or feel
- You fill in the blank!
What is one thing that could help you "catch your breath" or "breathe life into" you today?
As you become more aware of the dashboard of your soul, may you gain a sense of what God is wanting to heal and form in you, and the opportunities that lie ahead on your spiritual journey.