Summary: Eighth and last in the series Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, this message challenges listeners to begin developing a "rule of life" -- a personal, intentional, handcrafted set of guidelines for how to live . This is the way we stay connected to God in
Develop a Rule of Life
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, prt. 8
Wildwind Community Church
November 28, 2010
1 Cor. 7:35
A couple of weeks ago when we talked about the Sabbath and the Daily Office, I spent the first eight or nine minutes of the message reviewing the routines that most of us accept as normal for our days. Get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, work out, head to the office, work, head home, etc., etc. We definitely have routines, don’t we? Most of us in fact have pretty stable routines. Some of us keep extremely stable routines, doing the same things in the same order every day.
In the 6th century, St. Benedict wrote what we call a Rule of Life. A rule of life is simply a consciously chosen routine for living. The word for rule comes from the Greek for the word “trellis,” and of course most of us know that a trellis is a tool that allows a vine to get up off the ground, get more sunlight, and become more productive and fruitful.
A rule of life does for your time what a budget does for your finances. A rule of life tells your time where to go, instead of you sitting around wondering where it went. So my question for you today is are you ready to at least talk about or consider the idea of a rule of life? I’m talking about intentionally creating a routine for your life – a routine that, rather than drain you and zap you every day, allows you to stay in touch with God.
I’m not asking you to walk out of here today and go home and write your entire rule. I’m not asking for something elaborate. I’m asking, really, for two things today. First is that you ask yourself two questions:
1.Am I okay dancing to the same chaotic, hectic, relentless song the rest of the country is dancing to?
2.Is it even possible to stay connected to God when I’m dancing to the world’s song?
Second is to simply begin to consider some ways in which you want your song, your life, to be different.
Because of course we never change until we are sick to death of being where we are. We’ll never try a new way until the old way stops working. Is your way working for you? Do you experience God as closely as you’d like to? Is God as real to you as you’d like him to be? Do you live most of your life with a sense of peace? Do you see new and amazing “fruits” growing out of your life on a regular basis that you can’t fully understand or explain?
Let’s be practical for a moment. One year from now, you will be one year older, regardless of how you choose to live. The question is how you will live this next year. Will you live more intentionally, more in line with the stated goals of your life? Or will you spend another year drifting, playing the school’s game, or AYSO’s game, or the band’s game or the church’s game, or the office’s game? Hopefully every single person in this room has another year to live (and of course we don’t even know THAT!). So how will you spend it? What will it be?
Let me help you look at some areas you might choose to submit to a new rule of life. Ask yourself what am I sick of. What am I sick of. A couple weeks ago I finally got so sick of being out of shape that I bought a treadmill and climbed back up there and started running again. What are you sick of? Are you sick of being in debt? Sick of spending every evening in front of the television? Sick of not knowing your Bible? Sick of never going out with friends? Sick of your own fears and worries? Sick of feeling depressed or sad? Sick of the disconnect between you and your spouse? Sick of the growing chasm between you and your kids? Sick of your body the way it is? What are you sick of? The answer can be absolutely anything, but it has to be about you, not about someone else. This is about what YOU can do to step into the stream of grace, not about what you wish someone else would do.
What are you sick of is, in my opinion, a better question than, “What do you desire?” because we have many desires for our lives, but we’re not sick enough of the way things are to move toward what we desire. So how would you complete this sentence – “I don’t, I won’t, I can’t, I never, I always – and I’M SICK TO DEATH OF IT!” The answer to that question “What are you sick of” is a great place to start with a rule of life.