THE EVENING AND THE MORNING in my garden are magical times. They both express such vibrancy. The morning comes alive with the dewy freshness of a glorious new day; the evening bathes everything in a tender glow. Rabbit families come out to nibble away at their grass suppers. Birds have a final, fleeting visit to the bird feeder before settling in for the night.
There are many different views of evening, and Mrs. Eddy's definition tells us that they often tend toward a human sense of life—a time of drawing in—of "mistiness," "weariness," and "obscured views." An inevitable progression towards an ending and darkness. The "weariness" of the day could perhaps close with the need for the "cocktail hour"—a drink to lift one's spirits. "Mistiness" might settle around the idea of aging, loneliness, or melancholy—a yearning for the future or the past. "Obscured views" sometimes reveal unfulfilled life ambitions that have become shrouded and concealed. How we perceive the concept of evening will be manifested in our lives, for as the Book of Proverbs in the Bible says, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (23:7).
The highest sense of evening is "peace and rest," and by keeping this concept in thought, every moment can be an "evening" moment. When we watch the sun setting, we know that it is rising for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world—at that very moment, they are experiencing morning! Evening becomes a settled, unhurried time to mentally gather all the blessings in our lives, to savor and rejoice in them.
"Evening" thought at any hour of the day is a time of quietly collecting and focusing consciousness; of appreciating the sublime loveliness of life and hearing the Father's tender approval and appreciation of our work; to ponder the infinite cycle of good that encircles us and our planet. This thought rests in communion with the one, all-loving Creator—a time of deep contentment and all-embracing gratitude.
Jesus used his evening to companion and commune with the Divine. The Bible says, "When he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone" (Matt: 14:23). For Jesus, evening was indeed a time of "peace and rest," to listen to God and feel His abiding love.
He didn't cultivate the multitudes in the evening; he sent them away so that he could be alone with God. This was Jesus' choice, and he used his evening well! So well, in fact, that the calm refreshment he found enabled him to come down from the mountain, walk on the water, still the disciples' fear, and heal the multitudes.
The Bible explains the unfoldment of creation in this way: "The evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen:1:5). It's interesting that the evening comes before the morning! So the true concept of gentle, stressless evening paves the way for the "revelation and progress" that is part of the definition of morning in Science and Health (p. 591).
EVENING. Mistiness of mortal thought; weariness of mortal mind; obscured views; peace and rest. Science and Health, p. 586
Let us always keep our evening sense of life intact—the peace and rest that are the basis of revelation and certain progress.
Jill Gooding is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science who lives in Cobham, Surrey, England.
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