Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Direction

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Direction November 17, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I compared the interior life to a kitchen remodel. You’ve got a skilled workman doing a complicated job, and while he’s responsible for the work, you still need to cooperate with him or the job won’t get done.

But there’s another way that the interior life is similar to a kitchen remodel: it’s not always obvious what’s going on. In fact, it’s usually not obvious what’s going on. Some weeks it seems like there’s a flurry of activity to no great effect. Other weeks, it seems like nothing is happening at all. Once in a while, you actually see signs of progress. Most of the work goes on while you aren’t looking, and many crucial details are hidden from view.

This is one of the reasons why feelings aren’t a reliable guide to your progress in the interior life: you simply don’t have enough insight into the process for your gut feel to be dependable.

And this is why it is useful to seek out the help of a skilled and knowledgeable spiritual director. (I am not a spiritual director. I’m just this guy with a blog.) He knows what to expect, and how to explain it, and which questions to ask to find out where you’re at, and what to suggest for you to do. Most especially, he can see when you’ve gotten wrapped around your own axle, help you unwrap yourself, and get you moving again.

If you continue to pursue the interior life (and we all should!) you’re going to want to find a director—if only to have someone to talk to, who understands what you’re experiencing and won’t look at you funny. But keep beavering away in the meantime; don’t wait until you find one. You’re learning to love Jesus Christ, who died for you and through whom all things were created. He will see that you get any help you need.

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