So…I’ve been putting creating a Rule of Life for 2010 off for a week or so now. It is something I learned to do through Truett’s Spiritual Formation program and have kept up since I graduated. I love it because it keeps me focused and disciplined.
But this year I’ve been procrastinating. Probably because I know a lot about my spiritual routine needs to change and I don’t want to face it. My spiritual disciplines are currently like a sink of unwashed dishes. The mess needs to be dealt with; but when I look over at it all I can think is, “One more cup of coffee and then I will get to work.”
So a Rule of Life is, as it was explained to me, a plan of attack for the year. I was told the practice originated with the Benedictine order in the Middle Ages; although I’ve read Benedict haven’t found this kind of new year resolution creating.
Here is how it works. I spend time reflecting and praying over what my love for God and other people should look like in 2010. I then plan out the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly disciplines I will need to make that life a reality. I write the rule at the new year and then re-evaluate at Easter and on my birthday in September. The more comprehensive the plan the better. The disciplines should build as the year goes on; so they start small with growth in mind.
If this is not something you do, I highly recommend giving it a try. Here is a sample of mine for this year (I’m not sharing all of it with you because some of it is none of your bussiness…between me and Jesus only). In parenthesis I will explain why so you see the cause and effect aspect of the Rule.
- Up at 5am to meditate on Scripture. (In the mornings I am in charge of fixing the kids breakfast. Most mornings the kids wake me up at 6:30am and I stumble out of bed to get things going. It is a horrible way to wake up and sets me in a bad mood all day. This summer I was waking up at 5am and writing for the Examiner, so I know getting up early for me is possible. I need to spend that time focusing on and connecting with Christ.)
- Praying through my Prayer board first thing in the office. (There is a lot going on between our normal life, the Thingy, and Valley. Because I believe in that God has limited Himself to create freedom for us because He loves us, I see prayer as the most important thing we can do. He is not going to get involved unless we ask. And right now I desperately need Him to be involved; so I’m going to put a peg board up in my office with everything and everyone that needs prayer and systematically work through it every morning.)
- Once the house is quite, read. (At night I have fallen into the bad habit of watching T.V. or playing on the computer after my family has gone to bed. That has to stop. There is too much to learn right now to waste time with the billionth Law and Order episode.)
- At least one prayer walk a week. (I pray best on the move. Don’t really know why. That’s just the way it is. When we lived downtown I walked to work, so prayer walking was a natural flow in the day. That is no longer the case and I miss it; so it goes in the Rule).
- Blog Sunday night, Tuesday night, and Thursday night. (This is also a necessity for me. I never was great at journaling or keeping a diary; but for some reason this blog really helps me reflect. It has been a surprisingly great tool this year. I need to be more disciplined with it. Specifically I need to finish the Represent series this year.)
The rest of the weekly you don’t get to see…
- Finish one Sunday School / Small Group lesson a month. (I love to write this stuff. Whether anyone uses it or not, I need to be doing it.)
- One Spiritual Retreat where I get alone for a day and pray. (No explanation necessary.)
There is more…but that is enough to give you the idea. What is your year going to look like?