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 creativefind 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.

If mornings are really not your thing, find a better time that works for you.

If a fixed time is really difficult in your schedule, find a place that works for you – a room, a location, or simply a chair that says “this is where I meet with God.” If you need a tool why not check out the lector 365 app here.

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.

Be grateful for the small mundane everyday things, as much as the big things; for the beauty of creation, for the short window of peace between the noise and busyness of family life, the small act of kindness that someone showed you today.

3. Do some exercise

Spiritual, mental and physical health are all connected. Exercise or go for a walk to keep your whole body healthy.

Engage with nature; taste the wind, smell the flowers, touch a tree, hear the birds, look to the horizon. Make the most of the opportunities to be outside with a socially-distanced friend.

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.

Do something just for you that you enjoy and that blesses you. Free yourself from needing to ‘achieve’ anything – just enjoy it for its own sake.

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.

Keep up with a small number of people regularly. Every week, catch up with one person that you’ve not seen for a while.

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.

Generosity is far more than just financial giving and sharing of your resources; make someone a gift, teach someone a skill over Zoom, lend a tool, offer to shop for someone, give your time to listen. Bless others with the things you’ve been blessed with.

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.

We are trialling a new Chat App that will allow us all to interact in real time with chat and questions. Click here to join.