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Rules for Living

I’m sure you’ve seen the jokes – “I always said all I needed was a few days off from work to get my house deep cleaned and my yoga practice in order. It only took a little pandemic to help me see that wasn’t true. At. All.” It’s easy to have romantic ideas about what we would do if we had more time. If only I had more time in the morning I would pray more, read, study, exercise. If only I had more time during the day, I would prepare better meals for myself, meditate, or write in my journal. But the truth that we all know (especially after these weeks at home!) is that these kinds of healthy practices won’t just start themselves no matter how much time we have to ourselves. These practices start with us, with our intention and our commitment. Or, more accurately, they start with the Holy Spirit, whispering in our ear, nudging us to pay attention – to life, to ourselves, to our bodies, and to our neighbors.

The good news is that even if sheltering in place hasn’t somehow magically made your life well-ordered, healthy, and grounded, that’s okay. Because the Holy Spirit is still whispering in your ear, encouraging you, empowering you, to make wise decisions in following her lead. She is still calling you to take time for prayer, study, quiet, and service. In other words, she is still calling you to think about your Rule of Life.

Last week in our Friday conversation about Wellness, some of you talked about your new regular schedules as you’re staying at home. This is a good thing for all of us to think about, both now and in the future. How do you incorporate worship, prayer, study, fellowship, and service into your daily life? How are you growing in your love of God and neighbor, and what practices can you put into place to help with that formation? For example, you might:

- Wake up and spend 5 minutes in quiet prayer before you get out of bed

- Take a brisk walk outside (with your mask!)

- Pray Morning Prayer on Facebook with Atonement at 8:30

- Share your breakfast with a friend over the phone or on Zoom

What else are you doing these days that you could make into a Rule of Life? If there were one thing you’d like to add to your practice, what would it be? What would it take for you to make time for that activity?

May the Holy Spirit bless us all as we seek to craft and live a holy, happy Rule of Life this week and in all the weeks to come!

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