Spiritual training: an example of planning.

Last week, I talked about spiritual training plans (picking one thing, models and pieces, and training plans.) I received the following email describing how a friend walked through developing a plan. I was stunned. It’s a fabulous example of laying out a plan. I asked for permission to share it with you. 

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I took this through the same process as I did for my year-end review for business and personal, which made me realize I’d left it out. I went back and added “Confidence and faith” to my Well-Rounded Life list.

The next step was to write up an outrageous future for myself, what my ideal life might look like any time in the future. I’m not very outrageous in general, but there I added:

I have a calm trust and faith in God, knowledge of his words and a community to grow with. I follow the principles of living a good life with God.

Next was the 20 year plan. I would be about 65 in 2035, so it’s an interesting exercise all around. I added:

Over 20 years, I’ve learned a lot by reading and following God’s advice.

(My favorite insight: “God’s advice.” Sounds so much more relevant than “stuff people wrote about God 2000 years ago.”)

Then we get to the 5 year vision. That puts me at 50 years old. I added:

I enjoy spending time reading God’s advice and listening for his voice and connecting with others with questions. I put what I learn in practice.

Under the 2 year vision, I put:

I’ve read several Bible plans answering topics that matter to me. I make a habit of being still and listening for God.

Under 1 year vision, I have:

I’ve read The Story for enjoyment and for advice, and listened for God’s voice. I ask Jon questions as they come up.

Then break it down to quarters:

  • Q1: Read The Story for enjoyment. Start listening for God weekly. Ask Jon questions.
  • Q2: Re-read The Story for advice. Keep listening for God. Ask Jon questions.
  • Q3. Pick and follow a relevant Bible plan, keep listening. Ask Jon questions.
  • Q4: Pick and follow a relevant Bible plan, keep listening. Ask Jon questions.

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My friend does a great job of moving from out there to right now, and brings the same kind of planning to spiritual growth as to other areas of life. I was personally challenged by this. And I particularly like the idea of reading twice, for enjoyment and advice.

So, have you tried developing a spiritual training plan? 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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