Sunday, August 03, 2008

Spiritual Mentoring: no one size fits all

I love this passage from Spiritual Mentoring, about which I've written before: "Then don't pray."

I might not have that verbatim (I believe our copy is in the lovely Carol's possession) but the basic idea was that someone was praying multiple times a day as a matter of duty, and finding it rather empty. After some reflection, the mentor suggested, "Then don't pray."


Specifically, "Don't pray until you feel you absolutely have to." It worked wonders -- this person went for just a few days and then really felt drawn to prayer -- not from habit or duty, but from a hunger and thirst for fellowship with God.

Now most of us don't need this particular discipline (i.e., "Don't pray until ...) -- rather for most of us it's the reverse -- but taking another step toward Jesus can look very different for different people.

So as a student, first of the Lord Jesus Christ and then of whatever pastors, teachers, mentors &c, I have to remember that what person X did to take their next step closer to Christ isn't necessarily what I should do to take my next step closer to Christ.

And as I hope to help others take their next steps closer to Christ I must remember that what it looked like for me won't necessarily what it'll look like for them.

Except, of course, that everybody should memorize the verses in the TMS (Yes, I'm kidding about "everybody should" — but the TMS is a great way for some of us to start memorizing Scriptures.)

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