Adopting a set of practices and relational rhythms is a great way to create structure for our lives, to find space for God, and to ensure we do a variety of things that will help us to become/stay healthy (in body, mind and spirit). This is important at any point in life, but especially so when there is less certainty and structure in life as we find in these challenging times.
These ten things are a sort of ‘rule of life’ (based on ideas suggested by John Mark Comer to his church here) – a set of things to try and do regularly and intentionally. It’s not something we ‘have to do’, but rather a structure that will help us grow and develop in a healthy way. Be creative – find things that work for you, and in your circumstances. Have a go – and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do all of them, or forget to do them some days – the key thing is about direction of travel and intention.
We pray that they will inspire you rather than constrain you.
1. Start the day with quiet prayer and bible reading
Start the day in quiet prayer and bible reading before any other digital distractions, like Instagram, or the news, or television. If you have kids, ideally this will be before they wake up or find creative ways of working round them to start the day in quiet with God.
2. Find something to be grateful for each day
Remind yourself of the things for which you are grateful. Perhaps you can write them down each morning or share with your family or friends around the dinner table in the evening.
3. Do some exercise
Spiritual, mental and physical health are all connected. Exercise or go for a walk to keep your whole body healthy.
4. Focus on something you enjoy doing
Find an activity in which you can give your complete attention to or get lost in for a while, without getting distracted or finding yourself worried about what’s going on in the world. This could be gardening, woodworking, cooking, reading, art, doing a puzzle, playing a game, etc.
5. Be intentional about relationship
Have a regular check-in with a close friend, family member or person in your small group. This is a time to draw closer in relationships. Use the power of technology to its full potential. Be honest, vulnerable and intentional with your relationships.
6. Limit news, screen time and escapist behaviours
Catch up on the news twice a day. News may be available 24-7, but it doesn’t change that quickly. Avoid wasting time on other escapist behaviours. Find ways to limit your intake of things like alcohol, social media, television, sugar, staying up late, etc.
7. Look for opportunities to be generous
Make generosity a habit. Instead of focusing on what you need today, think about how you can share what you have with others. And particularly look out for the isolated and most vulnerable at this time.
8. Pray and fast every Thursday
Join with other Christians (more info) in fasting every Thursday as we pray for our nation, our leaders, our families and friends, our health and essential services, and all those who are suffering at this time.
9. Connect with your small group and community
Continue to connect with your small group on a regular basis. This is the best place for us to find fellowship, support and encourage each other, and be aware of any issues or concerns that individuals may be facing. Choose a platform that works for everyone.
10. Worship on Sunday
Gather ‘live’ with everyone in the on-line service if you can – help us maintain a sense of ‘meeting together’ even if we are currently unable to physically be together.