There’s a phrase I was introduced to during spiritual direction training that I’ve come to love.
“Holy curiosity is about getting curious about what’s around you, assuming you know nothing, and allowing everything to be able to teach you something if you linger long enough.”
I saw a post by Morgan Harper Nichols (here) with a magnifying glass that said ‘there is so much for me to learn here’ and it sparked the idea to share this thought with you.
Holy curiosity is really about trusting the Spirit in your sense of wonder and curiosity. In spiritual direction, this phrase brings with it this idea to approach what piques your curiosity with a sense of love and trust as being guided by the Spirit. It’s hearing someone speak and share, and noting where you have a feeling, thought, or body sensation that piques your curiosity and makes you want to say, ‘tell me more about that’. It’s trusting that what’s coming up for you as someone else speaks (and discerning that what’s coming up for you isn’t just your own stuff) that is leading you to a place of curiosity is holy.
In spiritual direction, this means assuming nothing. There’s no expectation of answer, no assumption of what the directee will say next, no asking to try to guide them somewhere you want them to go. It’s approaching it all with a sense of ‘holy indifference’ (another phrase for another time). Really, it all comes down to trust.
Holy, by definition here, is set apart for the purpose of God. Holy curiosity being different from curiosity in the sense that we are approaching it with an expectation of God being the one guiding us to this place of curiosity, trusting that he is behind it, within it and will be in what comes forward from it while acknowledging that trusting his presence doesn’t mean we get our own desired outcome, which is where the indifference part can come in.
When we approach life with a sense of ‘holy curiosity’, we get to show up to life and notice what catches our interest and go, ‘Hey God, this is interesting. Tell me more’. We get to show up to whatever is making our hearts flutter or the wheels in our minds turn or the magnet in our guts towards something and give God the reign on it and go ‘if you created me as I am, and if this is causing the flutter, turn or magnet, there’s perhaps something here from You for me. I want to explore this WITH You.’
Exploring WITH God allows us the space to show up ‘learning from the master of the trade’, if you will. We get to approach this with a sense of ‘what can You teach me?’. We get to be a student time and time again. We get to ask questions and explore and God, our Good Teacher, will stoke the fire of curiosity more, will lead us to answers, and will inevitably lead us to more questions. And, perhaps, the best part of all, we are led to a deeper awareness of God’s presence and deeper Love, and are led to a place where we sit in great Wonder and what’s been created before us.
What has caused a sense of ‘holy curiosity’ within you lately? When have you learned to let go of the expectations of outcomes to rest in the wonder created when you’ve approached something with simply curiosity?