I once downloaded a training schedule for completing a triathlon.
It involved a certain number of workouts on a certain number of days, with increasing intensity and duration as the event drew near. It called for cross-training in swimming, biking and running, which make up a triathlon. Along with the workouts, it built in days of rest and suggested dietary regimens.
If I followed the plan, I was assured of being ready for the competition. But I had to follow the plan. I had to subscribe to a set of practices that would enable me to achieve what I desired.
This makes perfect sense to us for physical achievement. It even makes sense in plotting our career goals and financial goals.
It is less common to think of it in terms of our spiritual lives, much less how our relationship with Christ calls us to develop our minds.But this is the nature of an ancient spiritual practice called a "rule," which can be traced back to the founding of Benedictine monasticism. Penned at the beginning of the sixth century, Benedict wished to write a rule that would help guide monks to holiness. By "rule," he intended a guide for optimal spiritual formation. Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.
Even though the Islamic State's ideology is explicitly at odds with the West, the group is making a relentless effort to recruit Westerners into its ranks, eager to exploit them for their outsize propaganda value. (Callimachi, The New York Times)
The Supreme Court on Friday legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. But years before that 5-4 decision, film and TV helped spur Americans' acceptance of gays and lesbians. (Collins & Blake, Los Angeles Times)
Perhaps the single most important factor in changing minds: Gays, lesbians and bisexuals came out of the closet. (Leubsdorf & Nelson, The Wall Street Journal)
The rush to the front ranks of science may come at a price: Some experts worry that medical researchers in China are stepping over ethical boundaries long accepted in the West. (Tatlow, The New York Times)