Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany” and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.”
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Goal-Setting for 2018
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Good morning Prayer Team!
Today is the last of our series on goal-setting for 2018. Now nearly two weeks into the New Year, hopefully you are making some new habits and purposeful and intentional changes in your life. One of the most important concepts when it comes to getting anything done is the concept of management. If we can be a good manager of our time and our responsibilities, we can get a lot more done and be able to cover the many bases each of us needs to cover.
Every person, it seems, struggles to keep all the balls in the air. When you start adding up responsibilities to marriage, children, work, extra-curricular activities, and housework, and then you add in hobbies and friends, along with exercise, relaxation, and sleep and a relationship with the Lord and involvement in church (which should be first on the list but is often relegated to last), it’s almost mind-boggling what we have to manage in our lives.
I love today’s verse from Ecclesiastes. There indeed is a time for everything. And if we manage ourselves well, there actually can be time for everything. The first thing to cut out in our lives is wasted time. That doesn’t mean cut out “free time,” because “free time” serves a purpose, for us to relax. When I sit down to write one of these messages, I sit and write. I don’t have other apps open on my computer or phone. I don’t stop to text. I sit and write. That’s one of the keys to management—to stay focused on a task. When the writing it done, I move to the next task, and so on. Am I perfect at this? No, that’s why it’s on the goal-setting agenda for 2018—It is my goal to get better at managing my time and responsibilities.
Did you make a one-word resolution for 2018? My word is “Faithful.” Faithful encapsulates my desire to not only stay faithful to God, but to be faithful to the many responsibilities I have as a husband, father, priest, friend, etc. I also want to be faithful in exercising, getting adequate rest, and having some down time. One of the keys to my goal of being “faithful” this year is to be able to “manage” all of these things by having “focus”. However, focus and manage are not the words—rather it is the word “faithful”, because if I put everything under the umbrella of my faith in God, asking for His blessings constantly through prayer, then all the other things will fall into place.
I have also chosen a couple of verses from the Bible to correspond with my word:
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom Him master has set over His household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom His mater when HE comes will find so doing. Matthew 24:44-46
Whichever word you have chosen (and it’s not too late to choose one), if you incorporate prayer, worship, scripture reading, charity, prioritizing, integrity, vulnerability, presence and management, you are going to be faithful to not only your goal, but to God. So, start each day with prayer, meditate on Scripture, worship and receive Christ each Sunday through Communion, be charitable, live with purpose, manage each day by being present, work with integrity, cultivate relationships where it is okay to be vulnerable and you are going to have a God-pleasing 2018, and a God-pleasing life. Notice I didn’t say a great year or an easy year. Great and easy are not the goals. Faithfulness to God, giving Him the glory, this is what will bring us His glory, both in this life and for eternal life.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. . .The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. . .Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19: 1-2, 7-9, 14
Have a God-centered day!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Photo Credit: Made with Zeal
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