Direction: Day 19 / by Jeff Tacklind

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”        F. Bueller

Today I have my monthly spiritual direction appointment.  And although it has been clearly marked on my calendar for some time, it still caught me off guard.  Thankfully, I received a text reminder this morning from Lynn.  Because today I’m jumping from one meeting to the next.  All good things, but hardly a pause in between.  Life can be so full.

And not just with work, but with our kids schedules too.  Every day has so many of these moments to navigate, plates to keep spinning, balls to juggle and hopefully keep in the air.  I drove Lila to school today wearing my slippers and pajama pants.  It is just one of those days.

And when life gets like this, it is almost like time speeds up.  Experiences lose their clarity.  My senses feel dulled.  I start to just get through the day instead of being present.  I hit the bed at night and think, “I was just here a minute ago.”

And so, to realize that I have an hour this afternoon to sit and pause is like water to a thirsty soul.  During this hour I get to let everything be quiet and still.  To reflect.  It is the greatest gift.

Direction, for me, is crucial to navigating life with intention.  Without it, things end up in a blur.  Meaning gets buried in experience.  And pretty soon I realize that I am unsure where I’m headed.  I’m not deciding anything.  I’m simply reacting.

Spiritual direction is like taking a step back and widening one’s gaze.  And with the help of a trusted friend and companion, you get a more birds eye view of the arc of your life.  You see familiar patterns speak to the deeper work God is doing…healing and stretching me in areas I otherwise wouldn’t choose for myself.

The work that God is doing can be painful and uncomfortably vulnerable, which is why we need a safe space.  A sacred space where the words and emotions that rise to the surface will be treated with gentleness and respect.  There are so few of these places in life, which makes this space, for me, of greatest value.

But the joy of this time isn’t merely the pause in my busy day.  Nor is it the stillness and calm that it brings.  No, the greatest gift is the startling reality that I am being led somewhere, by someone who knows me better than I know myself.  Someone who not only loves me as I am but has greater vision for who I can become.  Who nudges me away from hurry of life and invites me to see and understand the great arc of this journey He is taking me on.