Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hearing the Call: The Spiritual Director Version

I have a memory of being at Mepkin Abbey, and talk turned, as it so often does, to alternate careers.  I talked about being a spiritual director.  My friend said, "Do you realize how often you talk about being a spiritual director?  Maybe you should look into that."

I thought of that friend last week when I had a conversation with a different friend about what I would do if this job ended suddenly.  I said, "I would be a spiritual director."

I always feel like I'm blurting out something shameful, but I'm guessing that by now, people who know me are not surprised to find my thoughts running in that direction.  I used to think that being a pastor was the way to do more spiritual direction, but I've come to realize that the duties of many pastors don't leave much time for individual spiritual direction.

Yesterday, an Admissions person came to me with a transcript.  She wanted to see how many of the classes the student could use at our school.  I said, "This person got a degree in pastoral counseling.  You don't see that very often."

The Admissions person said, "You have that degree too, right?"

I was a bit surprised.  I said, "No, just a regular English major kind of degree.  If I went back to school, I might get this degree."

After I was done answering her questions and she went back to her desk, I prayed: "So, Holy Spirit, you do move in interesting ways."

When I was a teenager, going to Lutheran youth groups, and when I was in college, we talked often about what God calls us to do.  I always thought of "the call" as something big and dramatic, bushes bursting into flames, dreams that are clearly God and not delusion.

But now I'm thinking that the call can come in the form of persistent yearnings that go underground for awhile and then pop up when people say, "So, what will you do next if this job collapses?"

1 comment:

Wendy said...

This is exciting to contemplate. Blessings!