Do You Have a ‘Rule of Life’?
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Mama once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up there every time…” Which (to translate) means “Honey, you better decide how you want to live your one wild and wonderful life… or else you will turn around in the end and find yourself mumbling ‘what happened?’…!”
Five years ago when I started this blog, I also decide to ask God for a Rule of Life. The result was my very FIRST BLOG below, originally posted on New Years Day, January 1, 2010:
“Living Intentionally” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
I don’t know about you, but I want live fully during 2010! But without an intentional plan, I could easily squander my time and energies with no clear focus. Perhaps that’s one reason I am embracing an ancient discipline known as developing a ‘Rule of Life’ – a time-honored practice that has helped ordinary people live extraordinary and deepened spiritual lives through a personal living covenant with God. Living intentionally comes from my desire to integrate both my daily life experiences and my spiritual life through spiritual disciplines.
Pastor Pete Scazzero says that a ‘Rule of Life’ is an “intentional, conscious plan to keep God at the center of everything we do. It provides guidelines to help us intentionally pay attention and remember Him…It is meant to be a framework for freedom, providing healthy boundaries while leaving plenty of room for flexibility and individuality. A good ‘Rule of Life’ works best when it challenges us.”
So…as a New Year begins, I have set before me a new ‘Rule of Life’ which I’m sure will be tweaked and refined throughout time, but at least I hold it before me to guide me on the journey:
Lucinda Secrest McDowell’s Personal Rule of Life
- Practice Contemplative Spiritual Disciplines through Daily Office/Divine Hours each morning (and afternoon/evening) which incorporate Silence, Prayers (including Prayer Journal), Scripture, Devotional Reading and Hymnody.
- Observe Sabbath one day a week as a time for rest, reflection and worship. Twice a year take a personal retreat where I accomplish absolutely nothing except rest, reflection and recreation in the presence of God.
- Study God’s Word personally as well as participating/teaching regular group Bible Study for mutual support, accountability and knowledge.
- Continue to invest time, energy and resources in Relationships with Family, Friends, Colleagues, Neighbors and Church Family. Look for ways to encourage, support and connect.
- Fully engage in all my Work ‘as unto the Lord’ and seek to practice the presence of God wherever I serve or labor. Grow in my skills as a writer, speaker and teacher.
- Maintain physical Health through good food choices and regular exercise (especially walking and biking with Mike). Seek to stay balanced physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
- Expand my Global Worldview and discover ways to reach out in compassion, relief and prayerful redemption to needy people locally, nationally and internationally.
The beginning of a New Year is a great time to take stock of our lives and thank God for His faithfulness thus far, pledging to trust Him fully for all that lies ahead…. Thanks for reading my new blog “Encouraging Words” and I hope you’ll stay with me as the year unfolds.
“Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence. Remember the world of wonders He has made.” Psalm 105.4-5 MSG
~ under the mercy, Cindy
© 2010 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Note: Since I first wrote this blog 5 years ago, my friend Dr. Stephen Macchia has written a marvelous book – Crafting a Rule of Life – which is a great resource I highly recommend. (click on book for more info)
©2015 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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