Rule of Life: Desire and Choice

Earlier in July I introduced The Rule of Life Series. I’ll be exploring month-by-month what it means to live out each Rule of Life from the Community of St Anselm (COSA), now I’m an alumni.

September 2019: Desire and Choice

The Rule

I have called you friends […] You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.
(John 15:15b-16a)

“I choose you.” The power of choosing someone is possibly
the most powerful act of the human experience. I desire you.
I choose you. I love you. These are words God is speaking to
His Church over and over again. It is an invitation for us to
answer the call and respond by living it; learning to love
deliberately. The choice to join this Community is a profound
choice, a choice to love other people, and to desire to follow
this way of life.

We choose one another. Like Jesus has chosen us, we
choose to give ourselves to one another in prayer, in
service, in support, in forgiveness, in work, in play, in
listening. We give ourselves to the task of learning to love
one another, receiving each other as a gift from God
given at his discretion, not ours. By the grace of God, we
choose this way of life in the Community of St Anselm.

Living it out in Community

When we joined the Community, we had no idea who we were choosing to live with for 10 months. The word ‘desire’ brings to mind the work of James K.A. Smith who writes about how our habits and disciplines reshape our desire. Living in community was an act of choosing each other everyday (marriage is this, too!) and the practices instilled in us, shaped us to ‘love deliberately’ and follow this way of life.

Living it out as an Alumni

Here are three simple practices I’ll be doing in September to live out this rule of life more intentionally.

One: Choosing my new community. Joining a new church five months ago means choosing all over again. This community is given to me at God’s discretion not my own (thankfully they are awesome!) I often joke that if you see a multigenerational and multicultural group of people together on the train, they are either a church group or undercover ticket inspectors! Naturally, we will people pick friends who are just like us but the church brings people together from all backgrounds who are united by Christ. For me, this choosing means being more involved in church services and being intentional about friendships with parishioners.

Two: Continuing to choose my Community of St Anselm community. This is definitely the hardest to implement, with my fellow alumni scattered around the globe and on so many different time zones. I’ve decided to post a letter and make a skype call each month to stay connected with this community.

Three: Buy a t-shirt!
I’ve ordered this t-shirt which was a Community of St Anselm fundraiser, and hopefully it will arrived soon! As I wear it, I will be reminded of this Rule of Life and continue to choose those God has given me.

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