Rule of Life

Talk by Margaret Coles

Sunday 12th July 2015

I made my first Rule of Life when I was confirmed – a few decades ago – and this is something for which I have been grateful ever since, because for me, it is not so much a Rule of Life, but a way of living a Christian life with a guide and support system, rather than a set of rules to be kept.

Over the years, as I matured and lived through some difficult, and other joyful times, the original rule has been modified, but it has always been there to return to, and have as a base to live by.

I have also accepted that pressures of work or supporting my family or friends has had to be a priority at times, and then I have done as much as I could but even during difficult times I did not want to give up altogether.

So far, I’ve spoken about my experience, but one of the really important aspects of the Christian way of life is that we are members of a Christian Community, who worship together Sunday by Sunday. We have the Bible to guide and teach us – and I’ve found the Bible Reading Fellowship notes are excellent – and there are also study groups, which I’ve found helpful in discussion and sharing experience with other Christians.

Prayer is the bedrock of my Way of Life either alone or together with others, and sometimes to take the opportunity of going on a retreat, perhaps for a day or longer.

Our Clergy, Chris and Kate, are always willing to give their time to guide and encourage us – as indeed, do our friends,

Another important aspect of life as a Christian, is taking time to be with other people – sharing meals, going on holiday, enjoying hobbies or interests, or just chatting o the phone.

All these parts of my Way of Life have led me out into the wider world, to offer any talents and skills which I have, to help others as the need arises.

One of my hobbies is gardening – a pleasure and necessity – and I found here some parallels with my Christian life.

Seeds planted need time and nurturing to grow – my tomatoes need a framework to support them – my rampant shrubs need constant pruning and the weeds and pests are forever there, and frustrate my attempts to eradicate them. However, the end product of all this effort is the pleasure of the flowers which survive, and the produce which I can share with my friends and neighbours.