On Monday, I introduced the idea of a Rule of Life, which is “an intentional, conscious plan to keep God at the center of everything we do.” When you think of it that way, it doesn’t sound so overwhelming, does it?
As I thought and prayed over the past few days about how to walk you through this, considered my own journey, and was spending time researching, I realized that we live in an incredible day when there are so many resources available at our fingertips. We can literally Google things today and discover in an instant things that were developed centuries ago by people like Benedict, Augustine, St. Theresa of Avila, and other fathers and mothers of the faith who went before us and learned to walk in God’s Presence daily.
With that in mind, I realized that there were such great resources available on this idea that it would be better to do a somewhat unusual post, and instead of trying to give you my “take” on a Rule of Life, share with you some of the great resources that have helped me on this journey. Plus, I wanted to be careful that in what I was sharing, I wasn’t plagiarizing someone else’s hard work, so rather than trying to incorporate all of these into one post that may cause some to think I had done all the work, I was giving proper credit where it was due. So with that in mind, here are some amazing resources to help you walk through developing a rule of life. There are so many more, but these are a few of the best and the easiest to use if you don’t have time to take a three-day monastic retreat:
- How to Craft a Personal Rule of Life – by Geri and Pete Scazzero, authors of The Emotionally Healthy Life – this page gives a brief overview, then walks you through an exercise to develop a Rule of Life.
- myRule – Crafting a Rule of Life – this webpage has links on a video tutorial on crafting a rule of life, worksheets that are free to download and use, and several examples of people from different walks of life who have developed a Rule of Life. The owner of this website, Stephen A. Macchia, has also written an excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life, that will walk you through the process in more depth.
- Books – the following books also contain chapters or aids to crafting your own rule of life – The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg; Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton; and The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero. If you want to go deeper, The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard and Mansions of the Heart by R. Thomas Ashbrook are excellent, but they are not light reading!
I hope that you will take the time to explore some of these resources – if not the books, at least the links to the websites, which provide some great free helps on this process.
One more thing – just a reminder that you are a unique individual! Find what works for you, and don’t feel guilty if this idea doesn’t work for you. Just keep looking for the best way for you to personally walk consistently into growth in your relationship with Jesus. The whole point of a rule of life is to discover a guideline that will help you grow and mature in your intimacy with Jesus. It’s not an unchangeable straitjacket; it’s not a legalistic list of “do’s and don’t’s”; it’s an outline of what’s important to you, where you want to go in your life with Jesus, and how you think you can best get there. Use it as a tool, not as guilt-inducing Eleventh Commandment!
If you’re interested in learning more about following Jesus, check out my new devotional book, Forty Days of Walking With Jesus: A Devotional Guide, now available on the Kindle Store.