Friday, January 18, 2008

A Rule of Life

One of the course requirements for the Christian Spiritual Formation class that I just took was to write a Rule of Life. I loved the assignment. It helped me formulate much of my thinking and really hold up a covenant to God about who I want to be for His glory.

More impactful than I ever would have dreamed, was the time we spent sharing these. Somehow real intimacy developed in a bland classroom with 30+ people sitting in a circle. Unreal. As each person took a turn in popcorn fashion to share their rule, they really shared their heart. Tears began to flow, ministry happened, connections were deepened. It was spectacular. One of our classmates, Chris Chappotin wrote and sang a song as his rule. Some read prose. Others had written prayers.

This is what I wrote.
DISCLAIMER - This is who I want to be...not who I am all the time.

My Rule of Life is based on my favorite quote by Henry Ward Beecher, “It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.” The underlying principle in how I practice my faith journey is fullness and abundance. As I reflect on the different areas that are significant to me, they are stacked like building blocks. Individually these are all great things, but when they flow out of an intimate relationship with God born out of communion and worship they become sacred.

I desire to be a fully formed disciple of Christ in Spiritual Disciplines.
In my relationship with God I acknowledge that He is already present and I invite him to invade my life and space everyday. That invitation is extended through me being available in prayer, meditation, silence and service. Daily prayer for me is comprised of several different types of prayer usually all in an ongoing conversational style: The centering prayer when I feel myself getting out of control; Lifting up prayer requests on behalf of people and situations; Praying a verse or phrase when it enters my mind. Even though I know I need to develop the contemplative side of my prayer life more, I have found taking time once a week for meditative, contemplative prayer fits the rhythm of my life better than trying to do it on a daily basis.

I desire to be a fully formed disciple of Christ in how I respond to the Spirit.
In my relationship with the Holy Spirit I acknowledge that my heart and my intellect are best led when I am actively communing with the Father. Out of a life connected to God I will seek to respond to the promptings of the Spirit that lead me to serve, pray for, seek out, surprise and encourage others.
Also out of a rich inner life, I acknowledge that the Holy Spirit can change my heart, my will, my desires and the fruit that my life produces. Instead of trying harder, relying on will power or even Spiritual Mountain top experiences I seek the real transforming power of the Spirits work on my life.

I desire to be a fully formed disciple of Christ in how I see my neighbor.
In my relationships with the people my life touches I acknowledge that I am a more useful tool for God when I am communing with Him and in tune with the Spirit. When I am aware of the role God wants me to play in any given person’s life it is a more fulfilling and rich experience. My life is full of different types of relationships and they all need something slightly different.
As a wife I want the Fruit of the Spirit to define all my actions, attitudes and behaviors.
As a mother I seek to point my children to Jesus and provide ways for them to enter a real relationship with Him.
As a friend I seek to always live in the truest form of community.
As a minister my goal is to see others move from believer to disciple.
As a resident of Amarillo I seek to see the hurting in my city and do what I can where I am.
As a member of the global community I want to live in such a way that I am making a difference in the world for those who suffer the most.

I desire to be a fully formed disciple of Christ with my resources.
Extravagant Generosity – this is the legacy handed down to me from my Mother and I seek to continue living in such a way.
Faithful Stewardship – taking seriously the commitment to tithe my income and give over and above to other causes.
Hospitality - to family, friends, church members and strangers. We acknowledge the blessing of our home and all our possessions and seek to use what we have as a way of blessing others. I desire to have people feel loved and honored when they leave our home.
Conserving – by recycling and limiting waste we are trying to honor creation.

Have you done one of these? Share your thoughts?


Amy said...

I love yours, thanks again for sharing this with me and now us!

I would love to do this, and probably need to, but don't know where to start.

Arlene Kasselman said...

In Adele Calhoun's Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, she suggests one finds a verse, a quote or something similar that encapsulates what one values and then work from there. Phew, long run on sentence.
I liked that idea to get me going.

Amy said...

Thanks, Arlene. I will start thinking on that, and will share with you what I come up with.

You can just extend the richness of your retreat/class to me over the www. :)