Holiness in our Midst: Session 137


Story Circle Prompt: Share your “rule of life” or “inspiring vision?”

A “rule of life” is a guiding principle or practice that helps keep you attuned to the Diving along your daily path. I developed mine as part of my spiritual formation studies to become a spiritual director. I chose: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive” by St. Irenaeus. My goal is to keep trying to be fully alive in all aspects of my life: home, physical, work, community, family, financial, and spiritual. 

If you have never contemplated the question of developing a rule of life, I offer the following as a guide. It is an excerpt from a sermon by my pastor, Rev. Mary Jane Button-Harrison, of First Christian Church in Ames, IA. It was given on Sept. 17, 2023, the day after the funeral of Roger Bertelsen, who had been a celebrated professor at Iowa State University:

“Yesterday we celebrated the life of Roger Bertelsen. In his obituary was written, “He always tried to take the moral high road. He wrote on his calendar, ‘Before saying anything about another person, ask: is it kind, is it true, and is it necessary?’ Those words served as an inspiring vision in Roger’s day-to-day life. Another piece of his inspiring vision was the first rule of St. Benedict: ‘Live this life and do whatever is done, in a spirit of Thanksgiving. Abandon attempts to achieve security, they are futile, give up the search for wealth, it is demeaning, quit the search for salvation, it is selfish, and come to comfortable rest in the certainty that those who participate in this life with an attitude of Thanksgiving will receive its full promise.’ Roger memorized those words so they would be with him  Abundant life doesn’t come from power or fame or wealth or quick fixes, or even focusing on our own salvation. It doesn’t come from only staying in our comfort zone.  It comes from knowing and doing first the most important things. And that requires an inspiring vision that propels you forward and gives you the wisdom, passion, and determination to resist temptation. What is your inspiring vision that helps you stay focused on what’s most important; that keeps you on the narrow path to seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness?” (Used by permission of Mary Jane Button-Harrison and the family of Roger Bertelsen.)


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the question: Who most influenced your “rule of life” or “inspiring vision?”


  1. Read aloud Session CXXXVII. 

Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com

No comments yet

Comments are closed