Mar 15, 2010

the not-so-vanilla spiritual director

There is a protruding facet of reason that poses the question, “What am I thinking?" Those who generally take on monastic practices; namely fasting, silence, solitude, prayer all seem to carry a common personality, and the colors of my dna makeup are without that thread. It’s like this; I went to visit a place outside Minneapolis that trains up Spiritual Directors. The purpose of my visit was to discern whether or not it could be the location to my life after undergrad. In no time at all I realized that it is not for me - and I became certain of that by a wave of nausea that nearly knocked me off my feet the moment I walked in the door. The center was lovely and the faithful employees were stunning. Truly it was a community of passionate followers of Christ who are eager to tap into the movement of the Holy Spirit. I have nothing of negativity to say about the place.

But my restlessness is born from a place similar to Pluto. Pluto has always been, in my opinion, the strange planet. Mars is like pop music, if Casey Kasem were to live on a planet it would be Mars; everyone knows the mainstream tune that flows off its craters. Does Mars even have craters? Then there is Venus. Venus is like the sexy planet. Only people like Heidi Klum or Jennifer Aniston can exist on Venus. Then there is Jupiter. This is the planet where all the ridiculously smart scientists hang out and talk about everything sciencey. The mere thought of it makes my brain hurt. I don’t even know what other planets float around in our solar system (thus I do not belong on Jupiter) but there still remains Pluto. I am convinced this would be the place for the people other people consider “different”. Artists, winos, poets, romantics, simplistics and loners – unite together under the Plutonic (not Platonic) zip code with our bare feet and tattoos and pass the doobie of eccentricities.

The place of Spiritual Formation that I had visited was for the beautiful souls that keep cuss words out of their vocabulary. It had a certain feeling to it, like the feeling you get when you walk into a super churchy person’s house with your clothes reeking of last night’s stogie and lips stained with alcohol from the microphone at Jack’s karaoke bar. I’m a karaoke junkie and I like to smoke cheap stogies, but I am intoxicated by the love of Christ more frequently than by a bottle of 3 buck Chuck. And so the question arises again; “What am I thinking? I’m not the usual softly fashioned, daintily formed Spiritual Director. I will not have Thomas Kinkade decorating my future office, nor will I have ruffly curtains and doilies. I will not use a mouse church voice that cowers when released. What I will have is who I am. My office will probably have gnarly photography with some raw honest Rembrandt, it will more than likely smell of sandalwood and lilac, and I will not (this is my promise to you) back down from saying, “I have no freaking clue what the Spirit’s doing, but dude let’s kick back and listen together.”

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