Friday, January 1, 2016

The First and the Last Day Perspectives and Priorities

UV 1628/10000 The First and Last Day Perspectives and Priorities
God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.
Genesis 1 v 5
The light is a symbol of God, knowledge, wisdom, truth, faith, love, joy and hope. The darkness is a symbol of ignorance, fear, evil, lack of hope, sorrow and faithlessness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light ought to triumph over darkness in our lives. The mere presence of light is enough to drive darkness away or overcome darkness. Similarly, the presence of God in our lives is enough to overcome every claim of darkness. We need not worry about what is absent from our lives at the moment but be only concerned and focussed on what is present. Each day has its challenges and difficulties, opportunities and blessings. The day is also a metaphor that we know some aspects of life while for the rest we are in the dark and we need to rely on faith to overcome the darkness. We need to discern what is in spiritual terms “light” and “ darkness” and embrace the light while denying and rejecting the darkness. We need to distinguish and separate the works of light from darkness. Whenever we begin to fear, we should be sensitive to pray, “Lord, let there be faith”. Whenever we are beginning to sense sadness, we need to pray, “Lord, let there be joy.” When we face difficulties, “Lord, let there be a solution.” The presence of God and the presence of mind will ensure victory each day. God is the “everlasting Light” and He will cause our mourning day to cease. Jesus declared Himself to be the Light of the world and that we too are the manifest light to the world.

Like the way the Lord made the first day, we need to work as if each day as the first day of the rest of our lives as also we need to live as if it is the last day of our lives. The reason is that there is a contrary wisdom behind the work ethic and the way of life. With regard to work, we are required to be aggressive, determined, dedicated, visionary, optimistic but with regard to our conduct of our lives and relationships, we are required to be gentle, humble, kind, loving, merciful, patient, faithful, thankful. A balance of these two types of wisdom-the wisdom of work and the wisdom of life- is the very essence of progress and fulfilment.

Just as God considered the work of His hands and saw that it was good, we too need to consider each day : every morning we should decide our priorities and schedule our activities beginning with worship, prayer and meditation of the Word. Every evening or night we should consider how the wisdom of work panned out in our day and how the wisdom of relationships panned out. It should form the basis of taking steps to correct our actions or our conduct the next day. Each day the Lord focussed on creating one particular aspect of creation- the sun and heavenly bodies on one day, the water bodies on another day, the animal bodies on another day, the plant bodies on yet another. Similarly, each day we must focus on one or other creative work of our lives. While focussed on one aspect of creation, the Lord did each day a variety of things and brought forth a variety of amazing creations and creatures. Similarly, focus and concentration on an objective does not mean that we cannot do a variety of activities or target accomplishments. Every day the Lord was on target and we, too, should be on target every day of our lives. As people of the light who has received the light of the world into our very hearts, we are called upon now to “arise and shine”, implying to live a faithful and testimonial life for the glory of God.

Prateep V Philip

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