Rule 10: I will ATTEMPT all of this so far as I am able with the help of God.
When I read this rule, I like to substitute the word “do” for the word “attempt”.
I can understand why “attempt” was used. The editors of the rule likely didn’t want anyone to use the Rule of the Order as a bludgeon to get members to behave a certain way. Being in OSL is a calling, and the Rule of the Order is indeed a guideline, not a list of commandments. I take it that way, apply it that way, and discuss it with God and others that way.
However, Rule 10 already says “so far as I am able with the help of God”. This softens the verb quite a bit. We want to follow all the other rules in the Rule, but we know we can’t do so perfectly, and will rely on God for strength and guidance in doing so.
To me, “attempt” softens it more than necessary. I personally favor purposeful and intentional thought and action. When you say you’re going to do something, it seems too weaselly to say “I’ll try”. It’s something kids say when they don’t really want to commit to directions from an adult like a teacher, coach, or parent. I get a thrill when I hear people vow “I will with God’s help.”
The other nine rules of the Rule of the Order are wonderful, and I actually want to do them! I don’t want to just attempt them. I know I will never do them consistently and perfectly. For instance, I actually don’t read from the New Testament daily (Rule 4). I feel bad about this, but know I do read from the Bible often and think about it daily. I know I have God’s word “hid in my heart” (Ps. 119:11) and inscribed there (Jer. 31:33). I do look for ways to increase my reading of the New Testament. Someday, perhaps I will do so daily.
Thank you, Lord, for taking me on this wonderful journey into your ministry of healing. I pray that I and those who journey with me will faithfully grow into this ministry as you guide and heal us!
Submitted by Beth Shoemaker