Published on June 21, 2013
“My Rule of Life” in 1stdraftSSPP Seminar session #7© JCD 2013
The word “rule” derives from the Latin word,regula, which implies not so much a system ofrules and laws, but rather a way of regulating orregularizing our lives so that we can stay on thepath that we have set for ourselves.– A rule is like a trellis which offers support andguidance for a plant, helping it grow in a certaindirection.Macchia, Stephen A. Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way. Downers Grove, Ill.:Formatio/IVP Books, 2012, p.14.
Getting started . . .Okay – so now youre ready to try creating your own Rule of Life. Get penciland paper, and then pay attention to these brief thoughts . . .– You are not creating the Rule of Life, for all people or for alltime . . .• Jesus has already taken care of that– You are not creating a Rule for Your Entire Life . . .• Its not meant to account for every minute, eliminatespontaneity, or remain unchanged until death– You are creating a rule that will spur you toward a deeperrelationship with God . . .– You are committing to begin a practice that, with Gods help, willremove obstacles that hinder your spiritual journey . . .
Practices in your Rule should be . . .• Natural,• Intentional, and• should be able to lived out in a rhythmthat fits one’s ordinary life . . .
There are many time-tested practices (disciplines) that might beincorporated into the patterns of one’s Rule of Life . . .Some of those behaviours are . . .– Reading and meditating on Scripture;– Praying regularly (and in differing forms)– Worship, fellowship and public communion– Regular confession of sin and forgiveness of others– Exercising sacrificial self-giving– Observing periods of silence or solitude– Fasting and retreat– Practicing hospitalityIn addition attitudes can be brought under a Rule of Life . . .– Response to authority,– acceptance of the "other",– rejection of grumbling or cynicism,– forgiveness,– Respect for others.
So let’s get started . . .1. Take a piece of A4 or A3 paper and2. Draw a vertical line that divides the paper inhalf, then3. about two-thirds of the way down the page,draw a horizontal line, now4. Label the top two sections - "daily" and"weekly"5. Label the bottom (smaller) sections -"monthly" and "yearly"
In each of these sections, write down whatever youalready do on purpose that helps you become moremindful of God at work in your life – whether daily,weekly, monthly, or yearly.– Daily quiet time or reading,– weekly church attendance or Bible study,– a monthly meeting,– or an annual retreat might be examples of what youmight write down.. . . you might also include serving with “a community helpingprogramme”, or playing in a music group, or managing an on-lineprayer list, or promoting the need of affordable housing, or saying"Lord have mercy" instead of losing your temper.
Be honest . . .– This is not a test of your devoutness (noones looking over your shoulder) and it isnot a wish list of what you hope to dosomeday . . .• If theres only one thing (or no thing!), thats afine place to start.• If you already have lots of things crowding thespaces, one of your challenges may be to prunesome of your activities.
Now it’s time to giveyour “emerging rule” aGPS evaluation/rating
Next to each item on your list, write a . . .G if it represents a "growth" item for you,increasing your skill or yourunderstanding.P if it involves you in prayer or worship orconscious contact with God.S if it represents service to God, thecommunity or the church.You can be completely subjective . . .one persons "G" might be anothers "S" or “P”
Remember because your Rule of life is ameans to serve in your Christian SpiritualFormation as “the process of beingconformed to the Image of Christ for thesake of others”1. . .It requires ongoing review . . .1M. Robert. Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1993.
As you pursue your “Rule of Life” – review its serving-workability against . . .Rhythm– Is its “beat/cadence” flowing naturally?Response– Is it currently nurturing formation in relationship toyour expectations?Reflection– What am I hearing from God and engaging in daily lifethrough spiritual disciplines?Rule– Is it currently supporting “holistic” life?Remember . . . “Always Review to RENEW . . .
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