Our fast-paced life demands that we go, go, go to keep up. Pressures at work and hassles at home push us to the edge. We feel like the little hamster in a cage running to exhaustion on his treadmill going no-where fast.
At the genesis of the universe, the Creator established a prototype for our day. His day begins with evening followed by morning. The concept, when understood and implemented is transformational.
5 TRANSFORMING OUTCOMES OF ‘EVENING’
1. 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. 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. (Read complete article)
2. Evening activates authentic faith.
Abraham, the ‘father of faith’, faced reality head-on. He and Sarah, his wife, were too old to have children. In the face of bleak, impossible circumstances Abraham trusted God for the son He promised. That is authentic faith.
Evening requires that we face reality—the pile of unfinished tasks demanding urgent attention, the burdensome pressure from exacting bosses and vexing co-workers.
Activating authentic faith that brings closure to the day and creates transformation:
- Identify the precise source of your stress and release it into the hands of your Father
- With a deliberate, decisive act of faith, entrust your work, yourself and your prosperity (the successful outcome of your efforts) to God—He takes personal interest in you.
- Let it go, along with the worry and stress attached.
- With gratitude for His assistance through the day, go home, relax, enjoy your family, and get a good night’s sleep.
That is shalom.
The One who capably manages the affairs of the Universe does not sit idle. He works behind the scenes even while we sleep.
We may awake to find that a particular problem from the previous day is resolved. He may give us creative ideas and solutions in our sleep.
An inspiration may come to us as we drive to work next morning. Or, we may simply awake exhilarated from a good sleep, ready to tackle giants and dragons lurking on our path.
3. Evening sets the stage for our day.
Evening—closing off each day, committing our unfinished tasks and pressures to our Father, relaxing with family, getting a good night’s sleep—leads to greater creativity, productivity and accomplishment.
The problems are not less, we just handle them better. Our co-workers still complain and annoy, but we better deflect their negative energy.
Unexpected twists and turns don’t throw us off as easily. We maintain focus, drive and balance through the day.
Sure, we trip up, stumble, even fall back into our old ways at times, but when evening comes, we also release our mistakes, failures and the accompanying emotions to our Father.
4. Evening acknowledges accomplishment.
At the end of each day, God looked at what He had accomplished. He “saw that it was good.” He approved, satisfied with the result.
Interestingly, never once did God say the day was perfect. Our Father does not expect perfect; only that we do the best we can with what we are given to work with.
Evening allows us to acknowledge that our diligent effort has accomplished good, even if no one else thinks so. Neither we nor our work is defined by the approval of others. Our Father defines us and His empowering Spirit working through us defines our work.
Evening focuses on positive effort and accomplishment. It extracts satisfaction and declares, “Today was a good day!”
When we arrive home, still basking in that positive ‘inner glow’, our first words to our kids are, “How was your day at school?” And then we stop, listen and affirm them.
Turning to our spouse we ask, “How was your day?” Again we stop, listen and affirm. If they ask about our day, we answer, “I had a good day” and share accomplishments not complaints.
Our focus is on them, not us, with the desire to acknowledge and affirm each member of our family. A positive atmosphere is created in which positive relationships are cultivated.
“But,” you say, “my day was hell!”
You’ve probably heard, If you’re going through hell, don’t stop. Someone has added, “… don’t stop to take pictures!”
Hellish days are an unavoidable part of life. On such days we need to take Winston Churchill’s advice to the British people facing the formidable Nazi invasion, “Never, never, never give up.”
In sheer defiance in the face of hell we declare with songwriter John Petty, “…in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down.”
Close off that day, give its hell to Father—He’s already been there and conquered it for you!— and move on.
5. ‘Evening’ lays the groundwork for shalom.
With practice, we become skillful at shedding stress, anxiety and every other form of emotional baggage that accumulates during our day. Shifting our focus from the negativity surrounding us to our achievements evokes satisfying, empowering feelings.
Shalom—peace, health and prosperity— is within our grasp.
The practice of evening empowers us to stop the treadmill, step out of the cage, and live a meaningful life before we are caught in the death spiral of stress.
(Death spiral: The downward, corkscrew-motion of a disabled aircraft which is irrecoverably headed for a crash.)
Question: What do you do to break the strangle-hold of stress?
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