The Spiritual Director as Field Guide

field guide territory

Spiritual directors today are, in a sense, “field guides” along the walk, pointing out interesting highlights and asking you to think more deeply about certain questions. As a field guide, it is hoped that we will at least recognize the terrain. At times, we discover it with you.

We don’t walk the walk for you, but we observe the walk with you aware that God is leading the way and is in relationship with you all the time. The field guide knows the walk with God somewhat because the guide has walked his or her own path, and has walked with others like you. At the same time, the field guide knows that no two walks are ever the same and approaches your experience of the walk with God with humility and wonder.

One way we are different from the average field guide leading a tour is that they usually do a lot of talking about the path. We, however, are a bit quieter. We’re more likely to ask you questions about what you see, hear, feel and experience. Our job is to guide your attention to places along the path that might be worth exploring more carefully and deeply.

If you are considering spiritual direction, think about your journey with God. How might a field guide help you along the way?

In our next session, we’ll talk about the word contemplation—what it means and how it relates to the practice of spiritual direction.

For more about spiritual direction as I practice it, check out my website. If you have questions or comments about the content of Spiritual Direction 101, please let me hear from you in the reply section below.

 

 

About Teresa Blythe

Teresa Blythe is a full-time spiritual director and ordained UCC minister living and working in Phoenix, AZ. She serves as the Director of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson. Contact her at teresa@teresablythe.net.


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