What are our priorities?

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

My last meditation -before the end of last year- was about setting targets for the New Year (Read the meditation here). Today, three months later, I would like to reflect on a topic which is very close to my family and professional life: Setting priorities in our life.

Professionally, I did my studies in health management and for many years, I have been working for low and middle income countries (LMICs) trying to improve the health of vulnerable people and communities.

Priority setting is a key concept in health management to make proper use of the available (i.e. little) resources we (as organisations) have in order to cope with the tons of health challenges poor countries have to deal with. There are different methods to prioritise health problems:
a) from the demand of health services
b) from the health needs of patients and communities and
c) from economic perspectives (i.e. cost-benefit and cost- effectiveness analysis) using the scarce financial resources to solve the “most important” health problems.

I have seen for the last years that “my” Master students join our programme with a clear purpose (i.e. top priority) “to obtain a Master Diploma from the University of Freiburg, which will bring new and better professional opportunities for their professional future”.

For the last seven years… the trend is the same… the majority of our Master students have high motivation at the beginning of our programme but later on, with all the opportunities our beautiful city brings (many courses, parallel jobs to the studies, language workshops, tons of culture events, cheap trips, etc.), some of our students change direction… the result has been always directly proportional to the intensity of perceived attractions (cause – effect relationship): those students who keep the focus on their initial priority (cause: to put emphasis on the Master programme) will have at the end good academic performance (effect) and they will have higher probabilities to find good job positions in a shorter period of time while the other Master students experience just the opposite.

From a society perspective, we (people) also use different ways to set priorities:
a) by assessing which things are important to us…
b) by letting other people (or circumstances) influence what we value or
c) by moving into habits or routine that become our way of life.
The last one seems to be the most utilised in Germany in my personal opinion.

From my own (personal) perspective, I do believe and have practical evidence that if we just memorise and consistently apply in our lives the powerful and well-known verse in Matthew 6:33 which will keep us on the right path:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things
(Love, Faith, Hope and all your personal earthly desires!)
will be added to you”.

Matthew 6:33

I would like to ask me and you a simple question:

What are our priorities in our lives? Take a moment to reflect on this…

Do we have only earthly targets? (Some examples: better salaries, promotions, trips, new professional projects, scientific publications, etc.).

Do we involve our family when we set our priorities? (Love and Compassion for others starting from your family members, spouse and children).

Do we really seek firstly the kingdom of God every day? I know, this is not an easy task but with self-discipline we can achieve this and make it a routine in our lives. Here, we can apply the last item on how people make priorities “by moving into habits that become our way of life”… habits such as learning and reflecting on the word of God; showing others acts of love and compassion; being generous to the needed and giving to others and our church our talents and resources…

I have no doubt, that we all know the theory, this means, that our top priority should be to live a life that honours our Lord (i.e. being obedient) making a good example for more people and contributing to make the world a better place to live.

Dear ACF friends, I can ensure you that when our top priority is to seek God in our lives, we can see the concrete blessings on earth and I am sure later… we will reach eternity in heaven… this is my main desire for all of us…

The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.

Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.

We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.

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