Spiritual Direction is NOT a One-Time Emergency Room Event
Under normal circumstances, spiritual direction should not be akin to an emergency room visit. Spiritual direction is better likened to a wellness program or a long-term exercise and diet commitment that will result in maximum health. Even though there are plenty of appropriate emergency calls into spiritual directors, the healthiest calls typically occur within the context of an ongoing spiritual direction relationship. In general, it is not reasonable to expect a spiritual director to be responsive to emergency needs outside of a longer-term relationship. Why? Because experienced spiritual directors understand that if the person who finds themselves in an emergency is not ready to work diligently and consistently on their relationship with God (both at the point of crisis and afterward) the director is not likely to be able to assist in any substantive way. That said, it is important to note that some, during times of crisis, may experience a level of clarity that could be the beginning of a serious and life-altering faith commitment. Those in this category are ready and eager to do whatever is necessary to pursue God and cooperate with his work in their soul. These are not in the same camp as those who have a heart attack, receive emergency services, and then return to the lifestyle that brought them to their knees in the first place. The good news is that God is always ready to receive us when we are ready to turn to him.
This is an excerpt from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here