How do you describe spiritual direction?  This week I stumbled across an unexpected metaphor for spiritual direction.  See how watering my wilted kitchen herbs gave me insight into spiritual direction.

Keeping the Water Up

On Friday as I walked out the front door to farewell my friend, I was shocked to see that my pot of kitchen herbs had wilted.  It is late Summer in Melbourne and an unseasonably hot March.  The sorrel, usually so vigourous and vibrant with its red veins contrasting against the green leaves, was lying limp and flat on the dry black soil.

Metaphor for Spiritual Direction

Wilted kitchen herbs on a hot summer day

“Oh”, I exclaimed, “I need to water it.  Keeping the water up during this prolonged hot spell is so difficult.”  We had the sprinkler on only yesterday yet that was not enough for these conditions.    The sorrel had provided for many a breakfast omelette so I did not want to lose it.

My friend replied, “At least you know that the sorrel will respond quickly.”

“True”, I agreed.  “I enjoy to see it standing up again within minutes of being watered.”

“The wilted sorrel is a good image of what happens to us,” she continued.  “When we are limp and flat, we can be rejuvenated!”

We made our farewells.  Then I quickly filled a jug and poured two litres of water into the pot, aiming at the sorrel.  During the afternoon I returned to see how it was going.  What a wonderful recovery!

Metaphor for Spiritual Direction

Sorrel rejuvenated after watering!

Reconnect to the Spring of Water Within

On Sunday I heard words about thirst quenching living water.  Words about a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.  A story of two desert dwellers knowing their utter dependence on water.  Important words, of Jesus asking a Samaritan woman for a drink, and later, her asking him for living water that she may never be thirsty again.  I appreciated their mutual respect of one another, each offering hospitality to the other and seeing the true identity of the other.  (For the full story see John 4.5-42)

A Metaphor for Spiritual Direction

This is a simple story of wilted sorrel that is then watered.  I realised this story is a metaphor of what I offer in spiritual direction  People come feeling wilted  and reconnect to the spring of life giving water residing within them.  This rejuvenation might not happen as quickly as with my sorrel but it can, and does, happen.

Spiritual direction metaphor

Sorrel ready to harvest.

Yes, it is hard to keep the water up when the hot and dry conditions go longer than expected.  Regular spiritual direction is  a way of keeping the water up to our souls.  Keeping the water up is the goal of Sustaining Spirit Space – support during the changing seasons of life to sustain the spiritual life, to allow space for Spirit, no matter what the conditions.

When you are feeling wilted, how do you reconnect to the life-giving water within?  I wonder what practices, pattern of life, or strategies you practice to keep the water up to your soul?  How do you sustain your spiritual life during the intense seasons that come your way?  You can explore all these questions and more in spiritual direction.

Contact me today to book your free 20 minute spiritual direction phone conversation. Together we can explore what spiritual direction could offer you. If I am not the best fit for you, I can connect you to other spiritual directors.

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