'What story has God called me to live out and what life rhythms will help me to enter and embody this story?'
As each year comes to a close, my husband and I set aside two or three days to get away to pray and plan for the upcoming year. Our time way was a bit shorter this year than in previous year, but nonetheless, we got some praying and planning accomplished! One of my favorite parts of the retreat is the opportunity to revisit my 'Rule of Life'.
A simple description of a 'Rule of Life' is a pattern of practices which center us on Christ and help us love others well. Sometimes the word 'rule' has a negative connotation and for those of you who don't identify as 'rule followers' may want to stop reading now. But the word 'rule' is from the Latin 'regula', which is about a pattern not a law. The Rule of Life is not a new idea, but one developed by Christian monastic communities dating back to the 6th century. The most well-known rule was created by St. Benedict. The intent was to give the community a model for freedom, a path towards connection to the love of God.
I've realized as I get to know myself better, that I highly value freedom. I am drawn to being involved in projects and jobs where I am given a large amount of freedom to develop a vision and mission and to see it come to fruition in the way I most see fit. On the flip side, I've also realized that I actually need daily rhythms and structure to get the things accomplished in life I desire to. So, I actually try to create an intentional daily rhythm within the structure of each day so I can work for the Lord with all He has given me. I am prone to wander and daydream, so the Rule of Life has been a grace-empowered way for me to follow the Lord in the repetitive demands that life throws my way.
You may be wondering how this works. My husband and I have a friend, Rich Villodas, pastor of New Life Fellowship in Queens, New York who writes and teaches about the Rule of Life on a regular basis. We have been encouraged by his articulation of it.
A Rule of life can encompass four broad areas of your life: Work, Rest, Prayer, & Relationships.
Click HERE to find some suggestions on how to start your own Rule of Life on www.storyformed.com.