Many of us are confined to our homes these days, and adjusting to a “new normal” of working from home, kids home from school, limited social contact, and all kinds of other disruptions to our everyday lives. What better time to be intentional about designing some “new normal” daily rhythms around a framework that will help you to connect with Jesus, your soul, your neighbors, and your community throughout each day.
This common rule, a shared framework for spiritual growth, is built around our four journeying directions – UPWARD, INWARD, OUTWARD, and WITHWARD. These four directions are how we define the process of discipleship, or learning to walk the way of Jesus. We believe that the way of Jesus is the best possible way to live – both when life seems to be going “well,” and perhaps especially when things are difficult.
We invite you to join us in adopting all or part of this rhythm during this season.
IN : begin the day by centering yourself in God’s presence
- Prayer before phone
- God, thank you that you love me and accept me at the beginning of this day, before I have done anything at all. I place myself and my loved ones in your hands today. Help me to see you, and to trust you, this day. Amen.
- Scripture before news
- Choose a Bible reading plan to use in this season.
UP : before you “get going” on your workday or family activities, connect with God
OUT : after you’ve connected with God, connect with neighbor
- take a moment to send a few texts or make some calls to friends and neighbors. check on vulnerable people, those who live alone, and those who are struggling with anxiety.
- if you have children, ask them who they’d like to check in on.
IN : pause / selah
- take a few deep breaths
- give thanks to God for at least one thing, and as many as you are able.
- take a moment and identify one thing you need from God for this day. your daily bread. ask your Father for what you need.
- if you have children, you can do this entire practice as a family.
WITH : share the lunch hour with a friend
- at least once a week – but could be daily – have lunch with a friend via video
- if they know Jesus, be intentional about asking each other how you can pray for one another – and then do it
- if they don’t know Jesus, ask if there’s any specific way you can be praying for them
UP : after lunch, before jumping back into the day’s activities, connect with God
OUT : intercession break
- pause for 15 minutes in the afternoon to intercede (pray) or the world around you:
- for your neighbors
- for the sick and the vulnerable
- for leaders making decisions
- for those in the medical profession
- for the lost, that this moment would be one of spiritual openness
- for your loved ones
- that God would use this moment in history for his purposes
UP : after dinner, before the evening’s activities or rest, take a moment to connect with God
WITH : make space for community in the evenings
- at least once a week – or more if desired – be intentional about connecting with community
- connect with a virtual homechurch gathering
- set up video “dates” with friends
- start a weekly video chat or prayer gathering with friends
- get creative : find ways to socialize, play, and celebrate virtually
IN : check in with yourself, and with God, at the end of the day
- practice the examen : ask yourself when you felt close to God today, and when you felt far from him or completely missed that he was there. write these down if helpful, and take a moment to journal about them. close the practice by thanking God that he was with you during every moment of this day, whether you were aware of him or not.
UP : before you go to sleep, as your final activity of the day, connect with God one final time
*Phone off or in another room for the night