It is that time of year when we begin to reflect on a number of different things. Hopes, dreams, failures, and successes bounce around in our thoughts leading us to wonder about the past, present, and future. We are currently in the process of closing out 2018 and preparing to start 2019. In the midst of that transition, we can sometimes get bogged down in our failures in the past year and hope that things will be different in the new one. We even spend time thinking about and committing to new year resolutions to get us on the appropriate path. Goals are then set to eat less, exercise more, and to be more kind. All of which are good goals worthy of pursuit.
There is still some time before that transition happens, but I want to encourage you to start thinking about your goals for next year now. Advent is a great opportunity to consider who you are now and who you would like to be in the future as we ponder the mysteries of the faith, the coming of Christ, and how that affects how we live our lives. It is a brilliant opportunity to consider who God is molding you to be.
With that in mind, I’d like to make a suggestion. I’d like to encourage you to consider resolving to craft a rule of life to help with your spiritual journey in the coming year. A rule of life is a chosen pattern of discipline and behavior that provides a framework for spiritual growth. It is a commitment to a realistic and achievable set of goals that will help bring shape your spiritual journey. It starts with an honest reflection between you and God about who you are right now in all areas of your life including work, leisure, church life, stewardship, overall health, how you treat others, and you relate to God. Then, you decide what areas you need to work on and commit yourself to disciplines that will help you grow. Those disciplines will put you in a place where God can work on your heart to bring about the needed changes in your heart and head over the course of the year. Finally, you create a system of accountability to help you reach those goals.
I’m including some resources and templates that will help you consider creating a rule of life for yourself for the coming year. It takes some time to work through all of this which is why I am encouraging you to begin the work now. I’ll be working on my rule of life in the coming weeks and will be praying that you will consider working on yours as well.
Helpful resources and templates: