My friend Kevin Nichols convinced me to start my day every evening. He said he read it in a book or something.
You know how the Sabbath day or Passover starts on Friday evening rather than Saturday morning? That’s because the biblical concept of the day begins in the evening and ends the following evening. It goes from 6 PM one day til 6 PM the next day.
We (Westerners) think of our days as beginning at sunrise and ending at night. Which makes sense, because the sunrise is a kind of beginning, to be sure. But then again, this makes for a depressing understanding of our reality. In most pop songs the sun is an image of hope and optimism. “Here comes the sun and I say it’s alright.” “After the flood all the colors came out – it’s a beautiful day.” “Feel that sunshine tellin’ you to hold tight things will be alright.” Etcetera. Etcetera.
But on the other hand, Ryan Adams calls out the obvious problem: “The sun rises, but the sun also sets.”
Sure, the sun is wonderful. But the conclusion of every Western day is the end of the sunshine. There is a kind of morbid optimism to pop songs that celebrate the sunshine. This has allowed all the emo artists to respond to the poppy songs about sunshine with depressing pessimistic songs about the sunset.
But think about the biblical day. Yes, the sun goes down and we enter into the darkness. But each biblical day ends with the brightness of the sun rising.
So I decided to start my day at about 6pm. I start planning the following 24 hours about 30 minutes til 6pm. At 545 PM I plan my evening, my sleep schedule, and the next morning/afternoon.
Here are three reasons you should do the same:
1) It keeps you a day ahead. I am basically just starting my day 12 hours before everyone else.
2) It kills procrastination and hurry. We easily procrastinate and put things off for tomorrow. This fills our life with hurry. Our mornings are rushed trying to take care of everything that we put off. I find that if I think of my day as beginning in the evening it takes the pressure off of my morning.
3) It dramatizes sanctification and redemption. This is of course the most important point. My “day” dramatizes the process of this life. Seeds die (night), and then rise out of the ground into new life (sunrise). We walk through difficult circumstances (night) and then enter into the newness of joy (sunrise). The Hobbit begins with Bilbo going on a miserable adventure (night) and it concludes with a happy resolution (sunrise). Jesus dies on the cross (night) but the story ends with the newness of resurrection (sunrise).
My day begins entering the night and it ends with the sunrise. This just seems consistent with the pattern of everything else. Sanctification and redemption for days. Am I right?
You should totally start your day at 6pm.

5 thoughts on “Theology for Days: Why You Should Start Your Day at 6PM

  1. You’ll have to try harder to convince me to change.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure this is too different from what I attempt each day. Though I don’t sit down at 5:45 pm and carve out a list of the following day, I do make it a point to plan a day (if not days) in advance so as to be prudent with what I’ve been given. I list out my tasks, my obligations, my routine, and then I attempt to follow through with them. I even prepare my clothing the night. With this mindset I too fulfill the first two reasons you have listed. As for the last reason, you’ll have to convince me of its importance.

  2. Part of the essence of holiness is the dramatization of the Love of God in the Gospel. For instance, Purity in marriage dramatizes Christ and his Church (Eph 5), a sacrificially life of service dramatizes Christ’s cross (Phil 2), etc. As Calvin says, life is a Theater of the Glory of God. This is what guys like Kevin Vanhoozer, C.S. Lewis, and John Piper really pick up on. I think it’s totally legitimate to seek to display patterns of redemption in all areas of your life. This just seems like a practical example of how to do that.

  3. No wonder I always prepare for the next day the night before. 🙂

    I liked your post.


  4. Pingback: Sunday begins the week here | Boo: Compelled to Love

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