Putting off for tomorrow what can be done today
We all have times when we procrastinate. There is a story of a young monk who confessed to his elder that he was always struggling with procrastination. His elder told him it was his lack of faith which made it impossible for him to see God everywhere, and in all things, and for this reason he was careless and lazy about everything having to do with his salvation.
The holy Apostle Paul said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It is in our weakness that we tend to put things off, especially when it comes to those things that pertain to our salvation. We know the importance of keeping a prayer rule, of spending time each day with the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and of being productive in our spiritual lives. We know the importance of frequent church attendance, yet put it off. Tomorrow, we tell ourselves, will be the day we will begin to take our spiritual life seriously. Tomorrow we will set our priorities, and keep to them. But tomorrow never comes.
God desires we struggle on a daily basis, ever making progress in our journey into His heart. We only need to make that first step, remembering “….I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Procrastination does not have to dominate our life, for in the Lord we can turn things around and make progress. Procrastination only has power over our lives if we let it. Taking steps to curb the habit of slothfulness must begin with a decision that today, with God’s help, will be the day that I leave laziness and procrastination aside, and move forward with action.
It is procrastination that often stands in the way of our combating habitual sins that keep us from making spiritual progress. Procrastination can keep us from reconciling with family members or friends who’ve been estranged for years. It can keep us from making a good confession, thus unburdening ourselves of guilt that has been weighing us down. Procrastination need not rule our lives.
Fear of failure can also be a cause for procrastination. We fear that we will not be good enough at a task at hand, so we put it off. This is often a common problem among young college students.
Finally, let me make it very clear that I am not addressing the form of procrastination caused by depression. I am referencing that which is caused by laziness.
Love in Christ,
Photos: I made a Bright Week visit to my long time, and dear friend, Abouna Markos, vicar bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Seattle. He lives in the monastic house at Saint Mary Church in Lynnwood, WA.
Friday April 13, 2018 / March 31, 2018
Bright Week. Fast-free
“Life- giving Spring” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Friday of the Bright Week).
Commemoration of the renewal (sanctification) of the Holy Theotokos temple near the Life-giving Spring in Constantinople (5th c.) (movable holiday on the Friday of the Bright Week).
“Pochaev” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Friday of the Bright Week).
Venerable Hypatius the Wonderworker, bishop of Gangra (ca. 360).
Repose of St. Jonah, metropolitan of Kiev, Moscow, and all Russia (1461).
St. Innocent of Moscow, enlightener of Alaska and Siberia (1879).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1938).
St. Hypatius the Healer of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Venerable Apollonius, ascetic of the Thebaid (395).
Martyrs Abdas the Bishop and Benjamin the Deacon, of Persia (424).
Venerable Hypatius, abbot of Rufinus in Chalcedon (446).
Appearance of the “Iberian” (“Iveron”) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Righteous Joseph the Fair, son of Jacob (ca. 1700 B.C.).
38 Martyrs, beheaded by the sword under Julian (361-363).
Saint Akakios the Confessor, Bishop of Meletinia (249-251).
Venerable Blaise of Amorium and Mt. Athos (908) (Greek).
Martyr Menander (Greek).
St. Stephen the Wonderworker, monk (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
A Lame Man Healed
3 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
Mary and Martha Worship and Serve
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Keeping the Word
27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”