The Art of Asking for Direction

Photo courtesy of Columbus H. Brown of Candid Imagery Fine Art.

Earlier in my life, I regularly joked with friends about my frustration with men who refused to ask for directions. Getting lost or losing precious time maneuvering through unfamiliar territory was not my idea of an adventure. As a young girl, I observed how Mom or Dad might stop at a gas station or roll down the window and ask a person walking down the street for the way. Always grateful to Dad who made me and my siblings learn to read maps, I became an excellent albeit quieter navigating voice when traveling with others. Now with GPS equipped cars, smart phones and even watches, the whole “Why don’t you ask for directions?” argument is moot. Yet as I reflect on that time, perhaps I was projecting a bit. Particularly when it comes to daily life, I’m uncertain if I feel comfortable asking for Guidance, asking for Help.

We often forget that our Holy Creator equipped us with GPS long before we knew or used that acronym. Sometimes I call it “God Positional System,” or “Guidance Provided (at your) Service.” Essentially, we all carry the Spirit (or Holy Spirit or inner Buddha) within us. Everyone is blessed with it—no matter a believer or unbeliever, Hindu, Jew, Muslim or Christian. The gift of Spirit is pure Grace. We don’t have to earn it, engage in good deeds, or follow particular rules. The Guidance of Spirit is always available. 

Common metaphors for this capacity include intuition, “Mother-wit,” sixth sense, “gut feeling,” urge, or stirring from within. Miraculously it seems, Divine Counsel help us in an emergency or some dilemma we find ourselves in. Yet what we fail to understand is that Spirit is ready for a consultation anytime and without a fee. Sophia (as I like to call Her) is on call 24/7 and accessible to anyone who pauses, asks, and listens. 

The Answer may not come immediately. You might hear a whisper later in the day when you are chopping celery in the kitchen, sitting in traffic, or during a “boring” presentation. Yet suddenly you become aware of an idea or solution to a problem. Sophia might also suggest a U-turn, or even a full stop. The Answer might be a resounding “No,” or a gentle “Wait.” She might urge you to call Malaika, Mylique, Aunt Susie or your pastor, rabbi, or Imam. Spiritual directors/companions or spiritual friends are possible suggestions as well.

There may be several reasons why we rarely use this Universal service. First, many of us are unaware of the presence of Spirit inside of our minds. Often we are so outer-directed that we expect our Help to come from outside of us in a form we expect (at church, in a sacred text, while we pray) or even through the lottery, social media post, crystals or a psychic. Second, there are those of us who are afraid to ask or feel too unworthy to request anything from God. Third, we may be overly willful and so why would we need to ask for Guidance. We already know what’s best for us (and sometimes everyone else). Fourth, we want to do what we want to do when we want to do it (aka ego). I spent many years following my ego which never led to happiness or peace of mind. Fifth, many of us are scared that we might be asked to do something that we don’t want to do or might feel uncomfortable physically or emotionally. I would place having a heart transplant in this category but what an amazing spiritual awakening it led to! Typically, the fear might involve a move; perhaps taking a job across the country or in some way having to make a perceived sacrifice.

Sophia, being the epitome of patience awaits our call or tap—it doesn’t matter how we contact Her—but only that we should sooner than later. Will all of our troubles vanish if we seek the Guidance of the Spirit? Not hardly. But on the turbulent seas of living in today’s world, what a fabulous Anchor to have onboard who doesn’t need a WiFi connection. 

Perhaps today, or tomorrow, or the next, you can pause, and quietly sink inside if only for a few minutes. And instead of, “Hey Alexa or Hey Google” you might try, “Hey Sophia, what’s the best way to have a joyful day today?” or “Hey Sophia, is there anything I can help You with today?”  or my favorite, “Sophia, I have so many items on my To Do list—what should I do first?” Listening for and following Sophia’s steady and unfailing Direction will surely lead you to feeling more of that peace and joy that lies within your heart.