Wednesday as I prepared to go to the beach again, I packed differently. I thought about what it takes to get into the water, past the crashing waves and into the deep. Sometimes it is about having the right tools and the right helper.

Going into the deep is scary. The thought of what might happen or what it will be like keeps some folks on the shore. But what if a person could be assured of making the trek safely? Even better, what if someone accompanied her on the journey?

Along with the regular beach necessities like chairs, towels, sunscreen and water, I took pool noodles and a friend. Pool noodles — you know those bouyant, brightly colored cylinders used for flotation in a pool — also provide a bit of bouyant courage in the ocean. And a friend — that’s all I need sometimes to get past the difficult beginnings of a new venture.

Sure enough! Walking into the water with a friend by my side and a noodle around our waists was all we needed to get past the crashing waves into the deep water where we floated and undulated with the waves coming in from somewhere we couldn’t see.

Perhaps you are wanting to go deep with God but you don’t really know how to get there. It seems mysterious, scary and a bit impossible. I recommend the right tools and maybe a friend.

At times, all it takes is a spiritual friend willing to listen and help you see how God is already present in your life. I have, for the better part of twenty-five years – informally helped others see where God is at work in their lives. By listening carefully to their stories and asking good questions, the confidence to go deep with God is ignited and realized.

Perhaps you also need a spiritual friend. Someone to listen to your story, to ask a few good questions and fan into flame the spark already ignited within.

If you are considering spiritual direction, I would love to talk with you about it. It really can provide a transition from the shore into the deep!

10God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11

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