There was evening and there was morning

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears” ~ song in “Fiddler on the Roof”

Remember the days that lasted…well…all day? It seems as if the days get shorter and shorter as we get older, and the morning just blends right into the evening.

Even so, I was surprised to see my so-called Evening Primrose blooming right beside a Morning Glory. It was almost as if they were mocking my perception of time speeding up.

Both the Evening Primrose (Oenothera) and Morning Glory (Ipomoiea) are considered weeds by many. I enjoy the delicate taste of the primrose’s bright yellow flowers, so I planted them on purpose. I am now truly sorry for that mistake. They seem to pop up everywhere!

The native morning glories can’t be completely eradicated from the garden either, although I probably kill about two hundred of them during the growing season. The ones that escape my hoe reward my negligence by delighting me with their pink, blue, or purple hues as they twine themselves around anything they can climb.

As with most of the garden, I try to enjoy whatever happened to grow on its own as long as it wasn’t really in the way. It’s a good method for handling the rest of life’s unexpected developments, as well. Some battles are not worth fighting.

These two plants had been casually left to grow at the corner of the house that sees less foot traffic, and which is home to empty pots and unused garden stakes. The two plants that were spared took full advantage of the old stakes in finding their own support, and lived happily among the remaining lily foliage as a cover for their roots. It was an interesting and astonishing discovery, given the conflicting names of these wildflowers, to find them blooming at the same time of the day – between morning and evening.

It was not only a reminder that our days can seem “swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6), but also of the short term nature of life’s sadder or more vexing moments. These two themes seem as thoroughly intertwined as a Morning Glory’s grip on the sturdy stem of the tall Evening Primrose.

We can bear up under tough times because we know it’s all temporary. Even long-term illness or trouble is temporary, in the broader scope of eternity.

“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NASB).

We as humans sometimes overly emphasize sadness and suffering. We tend to act as though it will last forever, and complain that we are not up to the task of bearing it.

The actor John Wayne countered this tendency this way; “Life is tough. But it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” We often make our own days harder by our own poor choices.

But even if life is tough through no fault of our own, remember how short this life is, and that it’s all temporary. When the evening of our lives comes to a close, there is joy waiting for us with heaven’s morning!

A recurring phrase in the first chapter in the first book of the Bible is “there was evening and there was morning.” Another phrase that is repeated again and again is “and God saw that it was good.”

Let’s make sure that our actions and attitudes between our earthly mornings and evenings are good. A new morning awaits us.

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