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A few years ago I couldn’t have told you anything about spiritual direction. Now I find myself a spiritual director for a growing number of men. The journey has been such a surprise for me. So here’s the big question I had at the beginning: Just what exactly is spiritual direction and how could it help me?
Spiritual direction has been a ministry of the church for centuries. It is the ancient practice of helping you understand how God is working in your life so that you can respond to Him better. It is dusting for God’s fingerprints in a man’s soul. While traditional counseling deals with past trauma and life coaching deals with future goals, spiritual direction is all about the present moment. What is God doing right now? What is He up to? Spiritual direction is not discipling, teaching, or even mentoring. It is a type of conversation that will help you become more attuned to God’s presence in and around you. Such awareness is the great healing of the masculine soul. He is already seeking to enter our stories. Responding to His initiative is how we become men.
And now, here are four ways it can help you:
1) Learning to find God in a crisis. Some men come to see me because they are in a crisis. Something painful has pushed them to the edge: a broken marriage, a health issue, a job loss. Attendant are all the understandable emotions: sadness, anger, confusion. But the looming question is underneath: Why is God allowing this and where is He in it all? That’s the question we address. I believe God is always working, but especially so in crises. He is calling out to a man through the distress. The crisis is not the end of his life. It’s the trailhead of something startlingly new.
2) Learning to find God in all of life. One of the pivotal realities in the Bible is also one of the simplest. God is always present. All of a man’s dysfunctions and sins, all of his neuroses and addictions flow from his inability to access that reality. God’s love and presence is an ocean depth unknown, yet many men barely stick their toe in. Some never get to the shore. Spiritual direction is all about helping a man experience the presence of God in all of life. This becomes his warrior strength.
3) Growing in new ways to pray, Men sometimes come to me feeling stuck. They want so much more in their relationship with God, yet they don’t know how to get there. Here’s the good news: there is so much more, more than you could ever imagine. One of the things I love to do in spiritual direction is to introduce men to new ways of praying. I get to help them enter silence. And I get to see them discover the One who is calling out to them in their deepest desires.
4) Healing for the masculine soul. Every man has been wounded in this life. That certainly includes me. Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. He is the great Healer. Sometimes in spiritual direction, a man may voice his desire to find inner healing for something that continues to drag him down. I then help him experience the living presence of Jesus for that wound. For there is nothing impossible with God — nothing.
If you are interested in hearing more about spiritual direction or experiencing it yourself, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to continue the conversation!