October 28, 2008

Spiritual Directors and a Flailing Mongoose

Yesterday was my Christian Spiritual Formation class at ACU. As always it is was a great lesson. Dr. Wray spoke on Spiritual friends, mentors, and directors. The chair of the Marriage and Family Institute came in and spoke on the differences between Christian Therapy and a Spiritual Director. Dr. Wray had a sentence in big red letters on the projector, "If someone tells you they want to be your spiritual director, run the other way." The purpose of a spiritual director is just someone who reminds you to bring your focus back to God. Generally only asking questions. It is not a teaching role, but one of humility and a lot of questions to help the directee discern. Many people already have some or all of these types of people in their lives they might not have the specific title.

Next week we will be discussing "spontaneous formation" i.e. when something major happens in your life and there is a choice to make, kick up your faith several notches, or walk away. For me of course finding out that Jack, my son, had a brain tumor was a moment of spontaneous formation for me. Questions that I had not ever thought to ask God before that day were flooding my brain. The why's and how's of it. But there was a choice to be made, trust and keep asking those questions, wrestling with God and remaining engaged, or give it all up and walk away. I did make that choice in the first day of Jack's diagnosis and I allowed God into crevices of my heart that were very painful, refined by fire. The process is tough, but the other side is a blessing.

We will also talk about "the dark night of the soul," a restlessness of one's faith. Randy Harris spoke to this a bit last week, he was in that place spiritually and thought a fresh place and new faces would help it go away, so he took a job offered to him at ACU, but he said that the problem was that he brought himself with him. It was shortly after that where God called him to silence and solitute, and a pursuit of more of an apaphatic life than kataphatic. And he found God's peace.


Great food choices for what we cook when it gets cold. Tonight I am having my family over for dinner and am going to cook Taco Soup and Green Chile Cornbread, along with a yellow cake with candy corns on top of the frosting ; )


Picking the kids up for a quick trip to the doc this morning. Flu Shots. Derek and Jack, no problem. Sophie - picture a screaming mongoose that is flailing and kicking with all of their might, red faced and tear strewn. That's a definite possibility.


soul and culture said...

Consider this my endorsement for spiritual directors. Just got home from an evening with mine. It's been one of the best things in the world for my spiritual life. More questions than answers, but someone pointing me in the right direction. Mostly someone not afraid to sit with MY questions.
I will try to make it to the post office with a little something for you this weekend. I keep forgetting adn forgetting and forgetting. Sorry.