This week my air conditioner decided it had enough. It quit.
Or really, this week my air conditioner gave out because it hadn't been attended to. There was no maintenance that had been done that the trustees could remember and when the filters were removed they were caked in years worth of build up.
It got me thinking about our spiritual lives as well. While we want the wind, breath, movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we sometimes aren't the best to checking in and actually being attentive to our life in the Spirit.
That is one of the reasons spiritual direction is so important to me. Because I know every month I am going to be asked "how is it with your soul?"
What are your practices to being attentive to the Spirit in your life?
Often times when someone is a good listener, they are also someone who asks good questions.
What do I mean by that?
Good questions aren't just about getting facts and aren't opinions disguised with a question mark at the end. Instead, they are engaging. Inviting discovery and going deeper into what has been stated.
Good questions don't steer the conversation where the listener desires to go, but instead tracks with the person who is speaking.
The problem is that we may not have many examples in our lives of people who ask good questions. Questions that are for our sake.
Who are the people in your life who are good at asking you questions and how do those people make you feel?
I'll let you in on a secret - some pastors listen to other pastors preach. One of my favorite ways to listen is through Podcasts and there are some services I listen to every week. One of those is Providence Church, where Jacob Armstrong is the primary teaching pastor.
This past week Jacob's message hit my heart in just the right place. He talked about how when the Israelites were preparing to flee Egypt, Miriam (Moses's sister) in the midst of gathering folks together for the journey took time to pack her tambourine. Why? Pastor Armstrong said because she was trusting that there would be a time to praise God that was coming (https://prov.church/messages/).
One of the beautiful things I get to do as a spiritual director is bear witness. To be the one celebrating with people when God moves in their lives in ways great and small. I may not play a physical tambourine but I have one going in my heart!
Who are the people who praise God with you and trust that a reason to celebrate is coming?
We are now in season 2 of the podcast. This season we are going to focus on the supervision of spiritual directors - which may lead to some questions such as "What is that?" and "Why is supervision needed?" and "Who should be supervised?"
This week I submitted my graduation application for a certificate program on supervising spiritual directors, but my interest and passion trace back much farther than these thirteen months. It goes the whole way back to when I started practicing in 2013 and my deep desire to find someone to accompany me in this calling.
Only the road to finding that companionship and compassionate formation and listening didn't easily come.
I wonder, on the brink of this new season coming out - what do you think of when you hear the word "supervision?" and who helps form you along the journey?
Michelle is a Spiritual Director and End of Life Doula. She is the founder of Abide in the Spirit.
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