A New Year Ahead!

Happy New Year!

If you are like me, you may be spending part of the day thinking ahead to 2019, asking questions like, "What does the year ahead look like?"; "What goals do I have?"; "What do I need to change?" etc...

I stopped thinking about New Years Resolutions years ago, since  they seemingly were often nothing more than wishful thinking.

Instead, I have been thinking more about a "Rule of Life."

Usually when you talk about a rule of life you are referring to the basic disciplines a person commits to when he or she enters the monastic life. These are the common practices the whole community engages in, so that they have a shared spiritual and communal "way of life". We aren't in a monastic community so this is a bit harder, but the idea of a "rule of life" may be a way forward for all of us.

Here are then a range of questions you might ask yourself today in trying to develop your own way of life:

  • What are the basic spiritual, relational,  intellectual, physical exercises or activities  I need to always have present for me to be healthy?

  • What structures do I need to put in place? What commitments do I need to make?

  • What specific practices will help me grow in ways God wants me to?

  • How we I prioritize the important people in my life? How will  I prioritize my part of God's mission?

  • How will I pursue joy this year?

You  can see that things like exercise, going to church, reading, daily prayer, date nights, playing on a rec team, taking up a new ministry at church, could all be part of your rule of life.

On this first day of the year, take some time to sit with these questions and see how God might lead you to articulate a rule of life for 2019. 

Grace & Peace ,
Brad Swope

Subscribe to receive Thought For the Week in your Inbox.