Great sprinters like Usain Bolt spend hours in training perfecting their starts. They know that a good start propels them into position for a winning finish. A good start to your day empowers you to perform well and finish strong.
Let me ask what may seem a silly question: when does your day start?
“When the dawn breaks” or “When I get up in the morning” (which for some of you night owls may be mid-morning!) are typical responses. But I have another answer for you to consider.
For years I puzzled over the creation story in the Bible. The fact that the Creator spoke the vast universe and the world with its many-faceted detail into existence is amazing. Talk about the power of words! That He accomplished this in six days is astounding—unbelievable for many! What caught my attention and bewildered me, however, was the phrase repeated after the completion of each day’s activity: “And there was evening and there was morning, the ….. day.”
Clearly, the Creator’s concept of day is quite different from what we are used to. His day begins with evening, which is followed by morning, the beginning of new activities. The Jews, to whom the Torah was entrusted, structure their days after this pattern.
The concept is significant. It describes how the Almighty thinks and there is intention, purpose and life in His thinking. We do well to align our thinking to His.
More than significant, this concept is transformational. As we begin to understand and apply its implications in our life, we are liberated of a whole lot of stress, we become much more productive at our work, and we derive greater satisfaction from our daily accomplishments.
‘Evening’ signals the completion of a day.
Evening calls for deliberate intention and action. The day is done. Stop. Close off the day’s activities. Shut down the computer. Pack up your things. Go home. It’s evening.
Most of us never close off our days. We carry the accumulated stress and burden of our work home with us. At home we find the kids are wired from their day at school. Our spouse is strung out and would appreciate a little sympathy, which we can’t give because we are looking for some sympathy ourselves. Interactions with family are strained. What is intended to be a soothing, re-vitalizing refuge of joy and peace, i.e. our family, is threatened. Like a contagious virus, unresolved stress quickly spreads as wholesome, thriving relationships are infected.
Attempts to relax produce minimal results. We are exhausted emotionally and our muscles are tight. Our mind, whether consciously or not, is still weighted down with fallout from the day’s activity.
Sleep does not come easily. When we finally drift off, neither our mind nor our body get the full benefit of sleep. Morning comes too early after a fitful night. We awake to another day of the same old grind.
This never-ending death spiral is broken by evening. It is imperative that we decisively terminate each day. Let it go. Take back our evening.
Family is a wonderful antidote against caustic bosses and negative co-workers. Evening is ours to enjoy our family.
The unfinished work will be there in the morning. After a relaxing evening with family and a good night’s rest we are refreshed, re-energized and ready to tackle what’s on our plate for the day with greater creativity and clarity of mind.
Reorganizing our day to conform to pattern established by our Creator is life-changing.
Question: How would implementing the practice of ‘evening’ transform the quality of your life?
(I observe four more ways in which evening transforms us. These I share in my next article. Meanwhile, enjoy evening, a new and empowering dimension to your day.)
Image courtesy David Castillo Dominic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net