‘Set up waymarks, make signposts, consider well the high way’ Jeremiah 31:21
We take inspiration from a wide range of 'new monastic communities' such as the Northumbria Community and The Community of Aiden and Hilda. Here's what Ray Simpson says:
‘Our desire to simply walk with God is hi-jacked by the competing demands of others, our own egos, data overload and endless pressures from work, family and culture. Unless we identify and prioritise the values by which we evaluate these demands we sink or burn out’ Ray Simpson, Founder – Community of Aiden and Hilda
These values are Waymarks – not rules to keep but markers on our journeys which help keep us living in the right direction. They provide a simple structure.
With the help of a Soul Friend we develop a personal Way of Life, based on the waymarks but designed to work with our own current circumstances. This is not about an ideal which is far above our reach. The aim is to produce something flexible, workable and achievable.
We can check out that we are going the right way by measuring our attitudes and practices against our individual ‘Way of Life’ which will develop with the support of a soul friend and wider community as time goes by
A rhythm of prayer is the bedrock of our life with God. It does not have to be onerous and should not be guilt inducing, but it will require a sense of discipline.
The community produces a very simple rhythm of prayer morning, noon and night which is intended as a starting point and as an aid to creating space for God in the midst of busy lives.
You are encouraged to pray in a way which works for you. If you have a pattern you already follow that’s great. We can also point you in the direction of further resources which you may find helpful, just ask.
In addition, our website contains instructions for many ‘spiritual disciplines’ – ways of praying, engaging with the Bible and with daily life which might be helpful as you develop a rhythm of prayer in your life
2. Rhythm of work and rest
Along with a rhythm of prayer comes a rhythm for the whole of life which includes work & service of God and others (both paid/unpaid), as well as times of rest and time for re-creation in our lives.
This is an antidote to the often-hectic nature of 21st century life.
Work is a gift from God whether it is paid or unpaid, voluntary or just going about the things of every day life. What are you currently doing which conflicts with your way of life? How much time do you spend on certain activities? How can you create space for rest each day, weekly, monthly and annually? What do you find life giving and energising? What takes away your energy? How can you manage these things as part of a healthy rhythm? How can you find space for looking after yourself – body, mind and spirit?
3. Simplicity (of lifestyle)
Life can become complicated and cluttered. What in our lives is helpful or unhelpful as we seek to live simpler lives in tune with God and with the rhythms of nature he has created?
What clutters your spirit? What can you cut out which hinders and de-energises you? Activities? Quality over quantity? Possessions? What clutters your home and work spaces? Which relationships bring you life? Which relationships drain you? How can this all be managed? Quality over quantity. How can you simplify life to create space for prayer, rest and re-creation?
4. Learning and Growth
A Christian is a follower of Jesus, a learner or an apprentice. This is a life long relationship and journey in which we never stop learning
How can you ensure you are in such a place as to learn continually? How can you learn from:
· The Bible – God’s Word to us – how can you engage with this in different and life-giving ways?
· Creation – the world around us and its natural rhythms
· People – how can you learn from others through reading/listening/discussing with others
· What can you learn from your life and experience? (The Examen exercise for example can be very helpful). What can you learn from things which have gone well and not gone so well?
· How can you create space in your rhythm of life to open yourself to continued learning and reflection?
The pattern Jesus established was one of disciples making more disciples, who then go out, bringing hope to the world in all sorts of ways.
How does God want you to make a difference to others? How can you join in with God’s work in the world? In your daily life? In your church, in your community?
How can you encourage others in their apprenticeship to Jesus? Might you be willing to be a ‘Soul Friend’ to someone else, either now or in the future?
Download 'How to draft a Personal Way of Life Here: