As you write your Rule of lIfe, remember that it need not be complicated nor long. Indeed, if it is either, you will threaten your willingness later to read it daily. A Chapter is usually about 600-1000 words. They can be less. They can be only a few sentences (if they are the right ones) and they can be just one or two paragraphs. The important thing to remember when writing a chapter of your Rule of Life is that each chapter is a letter from you, to you, for you.
These “chapters” are letters of encouragement to you from you. That is why this process is so powerful. We are not often inclined follow “rules” set up by others for us – especially if we do not agree with them. But Rule of Life is set up by us. We hope and believe that God meets us as we write our Rule of lIfe by showing up as the Holy Spirit. So that is why there is a meditative tone to the way – the setting- in which we write our Rule of Life chapters. They should be written when we are fresh, not tired. They should be written in silence so that the Holy Spirit can speak and be heard by you as you write. And they should be written in response to life and not in reaction to events within life.
Each morning that you turn the page of your Rule of Life you are turning to a passage written for you, about you, by you and for your own encouragement. A Rule of Life is a long letter of encouragement to you. Each chapter is a reminder to you, by you, for you, regarding your vision for how you want to live. We write a Rule of Life so that we can remind ourselves of the pathway we have chosen because we will always wander off it from time to time. The Rule of Life is there so that each day, for 30 days (or less if you have less chapters) you have a reminder of the various pathways you have set for yourself so that as you read this day’s chapter or that day’s chapter, you are reminded of your hope for your life. As you read, you will think “Oh, re-reading this chapter on ________ I remember writing this chapter and I remember that this is how I wanted to live regarding _________. I am so glad to be reminded because I find I am not living this way. I have wandered off my life-path. I must get back on track. I will use this reading as a motivator to cut through the “woods” into which I have carelessly wandered in order to find my pathways again in this forest of life.”
I suggest the pages be in a three ring binder so as to easily turn pages and easily replace pages with revised re-writes when need be. I also suggest a big, long red ribbon taped to the top of the spine so as to have daily marker and so that you can easily remember where the “next” chapter to be read will be found.
Tomorrow we will look at a chapter on “Anxious thoughts.” To prep for that you may wish to explore “The Work” by Byron Katie which will be foundational to this important chapter.