Going it alone?
It was a crisp autumn morning when we set off on a 5 mile hike up to a mountain lake. 5 miles didn’t sound like much to the 17-year-old man-boys in our group, so they shot up the trail as soon as they could unfold themselves out of the van. They weren’t going to be held back by the rest of us, it was a competition, and they were going it alone.
The rest of us chuckled at their enthusiasm. We chatted easily and hunted for walking sticks to help us up the trail. There was no rush. We knew the steep grade and altitude would slow the young bucks down soon enough. In the mountains, slow and steady wins the race, and it’s always better to enjoy the views with friends who aren’t gasping for air.
At different times I’ve taken both approaches to my spiritual life. I’ve charged ahead, certain I need to reach the goal on my own as quickly as possible. Friends will slow me down. It’s just me and the trail, a chance to prove myself.
I’ve also slowed down, let go of my assumed agenda, and walked with friends. They have helped me notice God’s constant presence along the journey. They’ve pointed out the places where he’s blessed me, challenged me, and invited me into new depths of intimacy with him.
How about you? Are you journeying with friends, or going it alone? If it’s the latter, I urge and invite you to try something different.
Spiritual direction is the ancient Christian practice of befriending fellow spiritual travelers and journeying with them. A spiritual director is someone whose life and training has prepared them to help you slow down and notice the presence and leading of God. Spiritual directors don’t tell you what to do, instead they direct your attention to God’s word and the Holy Spirit.
You don’t have to go it alone.
Invitation to Practice
- Text 2 or 3 of your friends and simply tell them how grateful you are for them.
- Read and savor Psalm 133 and spend 5 minutes feeling gratitude for the many friends God has provided for you throughout life.
- If you don’t have any friends who come to mind, please consider reaching out to us and connecting. You can always email us at email@example.com and we will respond personally 🙂.
Check out our podcast on Travel Buddies - Spiritual Direction!