Creating a Rule of Life

Creating a Rule of Life

Discovering Your Unconscious Rule

Most of us do certain things because we are followers of Christ.  We participate in worship each Sunday.  We pray before meals.  We celebrate Holy Days.  We may not even be aware that we are practicing a Rule of Life, but as we order our lives around our commitment to God, that is exactly what we are doing.

That rule will change as we change and as our relationship with Christ deepens.  It helps to be reflective about the process.  We can make our Unconscious rule intentional once we have discovered what we are already doing.

Getting Started

To help you begin to develop an Intentional Rule of Life, here are some things to consider with a prayerful spirit:

·        Invite God’s Spirit to lead you in this process.

·        Ask God to help you notice all that you do that nurtures your spirit, those things that make you feel alive and close to God.  List them and don’t leave anything out. [1]

You will want to write this down and keep it with you for the next few days.  For some that will mean putting this in your Blackberry, for some a journal or laptop, for others the back of a napkin.  Just keep it and add to it as you go about your days.

Next Steps

·        This is the time to make an appointment with your Community Pastor or a guide.

·         Who will you call:_____           _____________Phone number/email:_____________

·         Live with your list for a while.  Reread it and notice what is there.  Add things you may have missed or omitted.

·         Before meeting with your guide or CP consider the questions below.

Some things to consider as you look at your list.

These are also the questions you can talk about when you get with a friend, your Community Pastor or Guide.

·        As you look at your list what gets you excited?

·        Ask yourself, “Is there something I know would help me grow in my connection to Christ?”

·        Has God been nudging me in a particular area?

·         If you categorized your practices into the Inward, Outward and Corporate designations, where are you strong?  Where are you less inclined or experienced?

·        Decide what you will keep in your rule.  (Sometimes it may be necessary to eliminate a less-than-life-giving practice to make room for something new that the Spirit might be drawing you to.  Other times a practice has run its course and simply is not helpful any longer.  Set those aside for awhile until new life is breathed into them or you feel drawn to return to them.

·        What am I deeply drawn to and why?

·        Where do I feel God is calling me to stretch and grow?

·        What kind of balance do I need in my life?[2]

·        Peruse the Rule of Life examples on the website.  To which ones are you drawn?

·        How would you like to structure your Rule of Life?

·        Is there a practice that you would like to explore in the next three months?

·        Do you know of someone who might be able to help you take the next steps?

·        Schedule a time and place to meet again with your CP or Guide.

Commit your Rule of Life to print.

Now try living with your ROL for a while.  See what works, what needs adjustment, what needs to be eliminated.  Be gentle with yourself.  It will take time, so keep trying even when you mess up or get discouraged.  Play with it until it works for you.  Ask someone to pray for you as you embark on your path.  Get with a friend, a mentor or your Lay Pastor to talk about what you are learning, experiencing, enjoying and resisting.  Tell your story and strengthen the community.  Encourage each other.  It is always better together!

“Andlet us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but
encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day

Hebrews 10:24-25

[1] Farrington, Debra K.  Living Faith Day by Day. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 2000.

[2] Thompson, Marjorie. Soul Feast. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.

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