True connection takes courage.
Many times in our daily lives, conversations are superficial. We are talked "at" a lot but rarely truly listened to. We rally around a speaker, an event, or a study without ever sharing our emotions or processing what has been heard.
We take in so much information, but there is rarely time for comprehension, nor time to do the deeper work. Meetings are full of opinions, and the space in between is often filled with unspoken reactions and emotions, which we will try to forget, shove down, only for them to resurface later in unhealthy ways. Our prayer times become, if we are not careful, a time of rattling off prayer requests and completely missing out on God's words of love to us. God’s desire to hear more of our hearts and the invitation to be transformed goes unanswered. This is not true connection.
Every day I have the privilege of meeting with others who want to move beyond the prayer lists, the chaos of life, and the superficial noise to grasp hold of the presence of God in the middle of it all. They want to go deeper and truly experience the intimacy that we are each invited to have with God. They spend time with the giver of their gifts, the conqueror of their fears, and the source of their strength when they are weak. They are finding a true connection with the Lord and are striving to nurture it in whatever way they are personally being called.
In spiritual direction, we are invited to slow down, press the brakes, and listen — truly listen for the voice of God. Discerning how the Holy Spirit may be calling us to deeper connection, deeper love, deeper intimacy with the Triune God. It's a time when life is not about anyone else's journey to the heart of God, just our own. It's personal, tailor-made time, where we can step out of the noise and into a place where it is safe to hear, discover, discern, come as we are, and be held by Love that always listens. God's love, which sees, knows, and hears everything that has been going on beneath the noise, beckons them to "come closer, be not afraid, I am with you."
This problem of noise is not new; it has been around for ages. And spiritual direction has long been there to help combat that noise, teaching us how to rise above it, creating space to listen to, hear, and respond to the voice of God.
Be brave. Reclaim connection.