Holy Asides
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February 28, 2014, 9:56 AM

Rule of Life

Since the beginning of Advent, many parishioners have been prayerfully reflecting and struggling with crafting their own personal rule of life. We have been gathering on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings going through the workbook by Steve Macchia entitled, "Crafting a Rule of Life." Much of the work is done on our own, as we ponder the important relationships in our lives, the talents that we have, the vision God calls us into, and many other aspects that encourage us to live a balanced life. 

As we draw near to the end of this class, I have noticed one prominent fear in many of the participants: sharing their rule of life with others. This is indeed a "personal" rule of life, filled with a great many things that are specific to the one crafting it; however, while it is personal in the sense that it is individually applicable (for instance, while cycling brings me great joy, many others do not find it that appealing), we should not see it in the same light as private. We need to resist the urge to hide it, like a diary or even a prayer journal. 

There are two reasons for this: Firstly, our Rule of Life should be sort of vanilla. These are things that we need to do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly-- pray, balance checkbook, particpate in hobbies, spend time with loved ones. These are the important priorites of our lives. Writing "weekly date night with spouse" is neither shocking, nor eyebrow raising. What the date night consists of each week does not need to be shared. This is the more "personal" aspect.

Which leads to the second aspect, we need to find someone to share our Rules of Life with, so someone can ask us how we are doing: Are you going to the gym each week? Do you call your mother every month? How is your prayer life going? Are you taking time to write that novel? Whatever. We live out our Rule of Life not in a vaccuum or in isolation, but in the midst of a community. Hopefully, a community who loves and cares for one another, and who desires to grow nearer to Christ and each other.

I am not saying that this is natural or easy. In fact, living in community and sharing our lives with one another takes courage and trust. To that end, I wanted to share my Rule of Life with all of you. (click here) It highlights my love for Christ and utilizes a bike crank, which reflects my joy in cycling, to divide the various areas of my Rule. This Lent, I am going to try to live into this Rule. I will tweak it, if it's too much, or not enough. And I encourage you to ask me how I am doing. Likewise, I encourage you to share your Rules (or Lenten devotions) with another. Because living a life in Christ is impossible to do on our own. 

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