How to Work Better — Part 3 of 9: First Evening, Then Morning

evening morningAll of Genesis chapter one was written for our instruction. In previous articles we learned about the importance of Spirit-led planning and getting enough “light” before doing anything else.

“God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

Surprisingly a day is described as evening and morning, not morning and evening. Why? Remember that darkness pre-existed light. The making of the first day was a progression from total darkness to twilight, to full day. How do you start your day? Based on this passage I recommend you start the day on the evening before! It’s not complex. It’s how orthodox Jews start all their sacred feasts.

I also saw it with my 18-year-old daughter. Recently, we had to leave the house at 7AM sharp. To my surprise (and hers too) she was still in bed at 6:58AM. When I knocked on her bedroom door and called her name, she said, “Oh no! My alarm did not go off!” I was more than shocked to see her dressed and at the back door with a bowl of cereal in her hand at 7:00. I stammered, “How did you do that?” She said, “It helped that I had everything ready the night before.” What an interesting concept. Have all your clothes and things laid out and ready to go the night before. Rather than treating days as morning-evening, operate as evening-morning, just the way God first did it. It’s hard to unlearn bad habits, but when I start operating God’s way, even though it doesn’t initially feel right, the long term results are much better.

We normally think of days starting in the morning and ending in the evening. We use the abbreviations AM and PM, but imagine a new one: “EM”—evening and morning. I am not suggesting any changes to clocks. Instead, let’s modify our personal habits so that we start the day the evening before. With proper preparation and planning done in the evening, our minds can rest better and we become actively productive right after our longest physical rest. That’s what we do as a family before a long road trip. Everything is packed into the car the night before. When morning does come we hit the deck running—and in the right direction! This “evening and morning” sequence is important since it is repeated six times in Genesis chapter one, once for each day, even on days five and six, which saw the sun rising in the morning, but NOT marking the beginning of the day. God could have described those last two days as morning and evening rather than evening and morning. Look for it and you will be surprised at the number of references to evening and morning. I was surprised that in the Mosaic Law, persons were ceremonially unclean until evening (not until morning) throughout many passages in the book of Leviticus. Furthermore we read in Psalm 55:17 that the Psalmist cried out evening, morning, and noon—not morning, noon, and evening. It may seem like a small productivity improvement, but I believe it is simple, if not easy, to implement. This is a daily action we can take. It incurs no extra financial cost. Just a little extra learning from how our Creator worked.

Tom Lipp

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