A rule of life.

What do you want to do today?

Not because it’s Monday and you have a project due. Not because it’s Monday and you have to make up for what you didn’t get done this weekend. Not because you made a list of six things last night and have to get them done.

What do you want to do today because of the description of your future reputation that you wrote on Friday

It’s possible that you didn’t write anything on Friday. So I’ll tell you what to do today and then you can go back and read that post.

Black and white cafeWhen you know how you want to be in five years, it’s worth writing a description of the daily and weekly and monthly and annual and occasional practices you will fold into your life to move toward that picture. If, for example, you want to cultivate your capacity to listen to (and for) God, what time will you set aside each day for that listening? If you know that regularly listening to live orchestral music gives you life, what time each quarter will you set aside for that listening?

The result of the reflection I’m describing is what is called a “rule of life.” One definition is a commitment to an order in our lives that slowly shapes us to live more like Jesus. (Its worth mentioning that a rule could shape us to live more like Charlie Rose or a marathon runner. It depends on the actions and practices we commit to.)

A rule of life could be as simple as a list like this:

Morning: coffee with God from 5:45-6:00.
Noon: Five minutes to list the afternoon’s conversation and say, “God, could you use me to encourage them?”
Evening: Thirty minute walk.
Friday evening to Saturday evening: no Facebook.

Start thinking. We’ll dig deeper tomorrow.


For a beginning list of books on spiritual formation, see my new page Formation

3 thoughts on “A rule of life.

  1. Jen

    Thanks for this post, Jon. My husband and I have three little kids and feel like most days are all about just surviving. It’s daunting to think about things like goal-setting or long-term spiritual formation. Your post makes it feel so much more doable. Thanks for the inspiration!


  2. Pingback: a sample of a rule of life | 300 words a day

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