A few years ago, entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg described what she called the entrepreneur’s dilemma: Work. Fitness. Sleep. Friends. Family. Pick 3. Want to work hard, get a good night’s sleep and have a family? Forget maintaining friendships or staying fit. Want to have a vital social life, a family, and stay healthy and active? Forget a career.
This is not only the entrepreneur’s dilemma. If we were to take an honest inventory of our lives, we might discover how true this dilemma rings for all of us. Is this the way we should live in relationship to ourselves, others and God? If we’re really being honest with ourselves, we might admit that our spiritual life sometimes feels either casual or haphazard. It is highly unlikely we will deepen our relationship with God if we treat this relationship casually. We need a plan to lead more intentional, balanced lives.
Our spiritual formation is much like planting a garden. In order to grow properly, plants require intentional support. Without the space and sunlight they need to grow and flourish, plants wither and collapse. Like these plants, we need support, intention and structure so our spiritual life does not grow in a stunted and disorderly way, or worse, wither altogether. In the Christian tradition, the name for this kind of support for our spiritual life is called a Rule of Life.
We can write a rule many different ways. The Rule of Life dates back to the sixth century with the Rule of St. Benedict, and organizes spiritual life around five practices: prayer, study, recreation, work and hospitality. Different seasons of life call for different kinds of support and intention. The goal is still the same. Developing a rule is about learning to love God, ourselves and others more deeply.
Use our Rule of Life Guide to help you create your own Rule of Life.