Who's Driving The Bus?

Some people have said to me after being in spiritual direction awhile they feel they have an imaginary friend that they talking to all the time– THEMSELVES!  That imaginary friend can crowd in between themselves and God. Noticing all the things that want to drive the bus and engaging them is a side effect of choosing to show up to one’s faith walk.  I know in my life there is a judge that want’s everything neatly put away that wants to drive my bus!   Sometimes I find words can easily fuel this wannabe driver.
I recently had the privilege to teach at Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction and during one of the topics I noticed the word “deep” coming up again and again.  There is a yearning to go deep in one’s spiritual life or in fact life in general.   A sense that there is something under the surface of things that is rich and waiting to be mined.  The problem arises when what is below the surface seems to be different for everyone and as humans likes to do – deep becomes a qualifying judgmental word.  I admit I’ve done it!  I see someone and within a few moments of the conversation my mind is categorizing and I am thinking, “oh, they have a surface spirituality.”  If I am aware enough the next thought is “what did you just think???”  I then escort the judge to it’s proper seat.  You are beginning to get the picture of my very active inner conversation!
Categorizing and judging is what the brain does.  It has to or we wouldn’t be able to function in a timely matter. What can easily happen if one is not practicing awareness is that judging brain goes on automatic pilot and they just follow along.  The gift of a spiritual life is it takes us out of automatic pilot and the challenge is the brain is not left behind.  It brings all the judging categories right along and what once seemed inspiring like a “deep” experience can become a separating experience.  This is why showing up to one’s practices like, prayer, community, meditation, spiritual direction, journaling etc. are essential.

Amanda PetersenComment