Spiritual Direction

“Spiritual direction” is an ordinary label to some people and a strange term to others. It refers to a process of meeting with a guide, mentor or friend to reflect upon and discuss one’s prayer life or “walk with God.” The label has been in use for a long time and thus probably will continue to be the favored term even though the word “director” has connotations that do not really fit.

Other names that could have the same meaning include mentor, pastor, and anything that connotes a disciple relationship. But it is important to point out that the person filling this role is not telling someone what to do or filling an authoritarian role. A spiritual director listens and asks questions but typically does not provide answers to the “directee.” The main process is mainly between this person and the Holy Spirit and is an ongoing part of daily life. The spiritual director is simply there occasionally as a companion, friend, or guide at various points.

Some misconceptions about spiritual direction are that it is similar to counseling, but that is completely wrong. It is not problem focussed, aside from trying to take parts of ones daily life and including God in them. As one meets with a director, problems from everyday real life keep coming to mind, but the focus is always to bring that in line with our everyday walk with God, and His Spirit as our constant companion.

As noted above, discipleship is a term that can be described in a relationship of this type. But it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a substitute for discipleship. We are directed in the bible to disciple others, and also to be discipled as a part of our everyday life. It is a more broad term as well, including many other aspects of a christian walk with God as the head of our lives.

The most common form of spiritual direction is one in which the director and directee meet periodically, say every couple weeks, or possibly weekly or monthly, for such conversation. It tends to be a long-term process.
In addition to individual spiritual direction, a director can be utilized for starting a spiritual direction group. The goal is to eventually have the group filling the role of spiritual director.

Within a retreat context, spiritual direction meetings usually are frequent, possibly daily, and may not extend beyond the time that a person is staying at a retreat center. In some group retreats, the option of meeting with a spiritual director may be built into the retreat program itself. In the case of an individual retreat, it may be part of helping the retreatant plan out the time he or she will be spending in retreat.

Easy Yoke Ranch has on its staff two people who have received extensive training as spiritual directors and are available to retreatants who wish to meet with a spiritual director periodically during their stay, or who wish some assistance in planning out a private retreat.