Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Spiritual Practice of Guidance.

Guidance (also sometimes called "Spiritual Direction" or "Spiritual Companionship/Friendship," is the process by which we seek God's guiding Spirit in community with other people. Here are some suggested practices you might want to try out this week (or this month, or this year, take your time and pace yourself!)

--Pick one of the first three Gospels: Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and read the sections of that Gospel that focus on how Jesus interacted with his disciples. How did he act as a spiritual director to them? How did his stories, prayers, and conversations with them act as a spiritual guide in their quest to come closer to God?

--Call a trusted friend or mentor this week, and get together with him/her for coffee (or tea) and a conversation. It doesn’t have to be about anything major—or maybe there’s something you’ve been dying to tell this person for a long time. Experience what it is like to take time away from the business of your life to reconnect with another human being on a different level.

--If your mother is still alive, call her today and thank her, and wish her a happy mother’s day. If your mother has passed on, pray to God for her, and know that God cares for a loves those whom we hold dear in our hearts, even after they have died.

--Read Paul’s letters to Timothy. These are great examples of spiritual guidance. Reflect on how Paul both respects Timothy’s gifts and graces for ministry, while at the same time offering his own thoughts on how to practice ministry. What words of wisdom does Paul offer you as you “listen in” on his spiritual direction sessions with Timothy?

--Come to the meditation group tomorrow night at the Eastwood Mall. This is not a commercial, I promise! We meet at 7 p.m. in the community room, which is now located in the Dillard’s wing, across from Payless Shoes. Okay, it sounds a little bit like a commercial, but really, the meditation group is an opportunity where we kind of mentor each other in our spiritual practices.

--Reflect on the key verse from today’s Scripture reading: Galatians 5:25—“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” What does it mean to be guided by the Spirit? Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit for guidance when facing a problem? What happened? If you haven’t ever asked, try it today. Watch how it changes your perception of the problem, and journal about your thoughts and experiences this week. Or, talk to a trusted friend or mentor about how you’re feeling about God’s guidance.

--Check out the website of Spiritual Directors International:
Find out more about what a spiritual director is, and what a spiritual director does. You can also find a spiritual director near you, and learn about what it takes to become a spiritual director. If you feel yourself being called in that direction, a good place to start is by finding yourself your own spiritual director, and explore what that process looks and feels like.

Watch this space--as I get more ideas this week, I'll post other ways you can think about/practice the spiritual practice of guidance.



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