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Viewpoint from Revd Canon Nick Garrard 09/10/2020

NICK GARRARDRevd Canon Nick Garrard

The Rectory, 23 The Street, South Walsham, NR13 6DQ


Nick is Rector of the Rockland Benefice in the Bramerton Group (Bramerton, Rockland St Mary with Hellington, Surlingham, Claxton, Carleton St Peter, and Kirby Bedon with Whitlingham) and Bishop’s Officer for Christian Spirituality through the Creative Arts

Recently, my wife and I began training as spiritual directors. The title sounds a bit grand, but the role isn’t. Being a spiritual director isn’t about telling people how to pray or make lifestyle choices. It’s about being a spiritual companion, someone who meets you regularly on life’s journey and listens to your story. By listening with full attention (and prayer), it becomes possible for the other person to find meaning in apparently random events and feelings, and sometimes find where God may be reaching out or guiding them. We will still need to have our own spiritual directors. We won’t offer something that we’re not doing ourselves. No one can truly listen to others until they learn to listen to themselves
dove leftThe training course will last for eighteen months and it will be a long time before we start meeting people as spiritual directors. But a surprising number of people do the same kind of things all the time, without realising that they are precious spiritual companions to someone. Spiritual direction can come from many faiths and traditions, and is an important part of the Christian faith.  Jesus’ disciples went with him on his travels around Palestine, but he also accompanied them, even after his death and resurrection. Jesus went with them on their journey through this world to heaven. Sometimes he walked with them, even when they were heading in the wrong direction, like the disciples fleeing Jerusalem after his resurrection in Luke 24. Today, God still walks with us when we’ve taken the wrong path
Dove rightFinding where to walk with God has come into focus in this strange year. So many plans have changed at short notice or ended up in the bin. This is as true for the church as for everyone else. Rather than simply replacing old plans with new ones that may or may not come to pass, it may be better just to say, “Where are we going today, Lord?” and let him set the direction. This may have been the best plan, all along. In the book of Micah, God asks just three things from his people, “to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God”. This sounds to me like a good path to take
also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


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