Monday, March 2, 2009

Steve's Rule of Life

Developing a "Rule of Life" is an ancient spiritual discipline that emerged from monastic influence and the traditions of religious orders. For me, a simple, personal rule provides structure that helps me grow deeper in my spiritual formation. The Latin term regula does not have some of the negative connotations that the English word "rule" has. It is a joy, a tool for growth ... not something difficult or punitive. It regulates my life in the way I want it to.

This is my Rule of Life as revised October of 2007. I keep it posted by my desk and at home in my dresser. When I vary from it, I gently and gracefully bring myself back to it. I share this not only for a bit of accountability to you, friends and family, but as witness to what living a rule has meant in my life. I encourage you to make your own.


“Do justice to your own soul. Give it time and means to grow.
Do not starve yourselves any longer.” – John Wesley

1. Seek to practice the presence of God.

2. At least five times a week, spend 45 minutes to an hour allowing God space to do “soul work” in me. If I can’t do this first thing in the office, I will reschedule it with diligence as it is an appointment with God. Balance and rhythm for this time includes:

- Praying the psalms
- Silence
- Lectio divina
- Spiritual classics and resources
- Journaling and prayer
- Worship

3. Set aside Thursday morning for holy time of sermon preparation without interruption or distraction. Do not read emails first!

4. Friday and Saturday are Sabbath times and I will not go into the office.

5. Seek to be more differentiated by:

- Being clear with myself about who I am and what my boundaries are
- Staying connected with difficult people
- Responding not reacting, maintaining a non-anxious presence

6. Practice spiritual direction and covenant group as a means of spiritual accountability and support.

7. Exercise 3 times a week (gym or outdoors), practice moderation with carbohydrates, and refrain from late night snacks (except fruit).

8. Go on a spiritual formation or private prayer retreat at least quarterly.