Wisdom for the long walk of faith
“The purpose of spiritual direction is to help another person deepen their relationship with God in Christ and to discern how to live out of this relationship.” – Trevor Hudson
In short spiritual direction involves meeting with a spiritual director in 1:1 sessions for conversation approximately every 3 or 4 weeks. The director is a responsible person who is called to this ministry and trained for the task of direction. In reality, the Holy Spirit is the Spiritual Director, so both the director and the directee listen together in order to discern the leading and movement of the Spirit in the life of the directee. These Sacred Conversations are being offered at Stellenbosch Gemeente.
Spiritual direction is a relationship between two people in which the director is a companion on the faith journey of another. Ultimately it is the Lord who is the director of a person’s life journey, yet God does send companions to guide us on the way. The spiritual director is a friend of the soul. She or he is not a leader but a guide on the journey, and they point always beyond themselves to God. Through their love, silence and prayer they seek to be a light to people in their seeking. Ultimately, though, the relationship unfolds under the inspiration and work of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual direction focuses on the relationship between a person and God – who God is for us and who we are for God. It will involve listening to a person’s life story, and paying attention to the movement of God in daily life so that they can respond to the Spirit.
The aim of spiritual direction is spiritual maturity . For the Christian this spiritual maturity will take the shape of conformity to the character of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). In order to assist this, spiritual direction will aim to help a person become more sensitive to the presence of God, to deepen their personal relationship with Christ and to pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in prayer and in all the aspects of their lives.
Then there is the missional component of spiritual direction. How do all these themes in spiritual direction relate to a person’s life in the world? “If our experience of spiritual direction is not leading us deeper into vocational faithfulness and into deeper engagement with the reality of human suffering then we are wrongfully privatising spirituality.” (Trevor Hudson)