We think of a day as a 24-hour span, time that for the most part goes by in the wink of an eye. But days can also be seen in a far grander sweep, as in the divine vision of Genesis 1. Even upon an umpteenth retelling, it is a soul-stirring tale, as we hear in this first "day":
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he 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 — the first day."
If we could expand our days into a divine vision, we could truly be called enthusiastic. The word comes from the Greek enthousiasmos, from enthous — literally "possessed by a god," based on theos, "god." In the following passage from The Road of Life: Reflections on Searching and Longing, David Adams shows us a way to celebrate the cosmic mysteries that Genesis lays out:
"Learn to enthuse about life. . . . Here is a pattern I based on Genesis I:
"Monday: Explore the beginnings, the Big Bang, the birth of the universe. The balance of the world needed for life to evolve. The right amount of gravity, of air, of relationship to the sun.
"Tuesday: Discover the beauty and mystery of the sky, the clouds, the air. Again the balance and the ability to recycle water is amazing.
"Wednesday: Look at water in all its forms, seas and rivers, ice and snow. Without it nothing would live. Discover how much of the human body is made up of water, of hydrogen and oxygen: the world and ourselves are truly mysterious.
"Thursday: Wonder and enthuse over the stars, the sun, the moon, the planets. Explore the balance between the various objects that make up our solar system. Discover how regular are day and night, the tides and the seasons.
"Friday: Rejoice in life, in all living things. Look at the wonders of the oceans, the air, the earth. There are many television programs that help us to appreciate the variety and splendor of life on earth.
"Saturday: Enjoy being human. Discover the sacredness of all life. Learn to look at others with awe and respect. Discover our unity of body, mind and spirit.
"Sunday: This is a day of rest — make sure you are able to relax. This is the time to enthuse, to affirm you are in the heart of God, and to know in him all things that live and move and have their being."
Starting today or, in keeping with this progression, on Monday, make these cosmic reflections your daily fare. You may be surprised at the boost of enthusiasm that comes to you quite naturally!