Live each day as if it were the Second Coming29 September 2016
The more I contemplate this phrase, the more I realize that it holds the key to living our lives the Orthodox way.
First, to live each day as if it were the Second Coming confirms the first postulate of Christianity: that we accept the first coming of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Secondly, if we lived each day as if it were the Second coming, we would be better people – better mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends, co-workers, etc, in that we would be more forgiving of others. As my parish priest also says that we have to make amends with people in this life because once we are on the other side it’s too late. We must forgive not only for others sake but for our own salvation. We would have forgiveness and contrition in our hearts daily not only benefiting those around us, but also benefiting our own souls. We would be more loving, more giving, more understanding and more patient with those around us.
We would have more compassion and be there for our loved ones in times of physical and spiritual illness never turning them away. Moreover, we would better control what comes out of our mouths towards others instead of spontaneously blurting things out. We would be more giving, especially of our money and possessions to others who need it if we imagined that each day might be our last on this earth. Likewise, it would be very difficult for us to judge others as if we had a constant image on our minds of being judged ourselves.
Thirdly, with the image of the Second Coming on our minds, we would be brought daily to our knees in repentance in the same way many who lived during the times of Jesus’ had – those who witnessed his miracles and Resurrection first-hand. We should always believe that our Lord is always right here with us in our immediate presence and we should try to behave this way. If we were around to witness the first coming, his teachings, his conversations and Resurrection, we would actually be brought to repentance and try to live our lives daily awaiting his great mercy.
We wouldn’t have to contemplate his Second Coming or try to second-guess when it would happen. We would be sure in knowing that it will arrive one day and that instead of looking to the future, we would be concerned with what was happening on a daily basis. We would not plan so far ahead in the future and try to make each day count. Our repentance would be more meaningful because instead of just exercising penance as a quick fix to make us feel good immediately, we would be better at trying not to repeat our sins. We would take communion frequently so that we will have a better chance of being in communion with God at the time of the Second Coming.
Our daily actions would also be filled with more meaningful activities along with prayer and almsgiving. We would spend our time more wisely if we knew the promise of ever-lasting life was within our reach. We would watch less TV, play less video games and surf the Internet less. We would get to know our neighbors better and listen to there life stories and listen with compassion. We would not mind struggling or suffering, as much because we understand that this was not the end of the road and that everything rewarding requires hard work, especially if we want to be in the right way when we meet our Lord. Do we want to appear mindless and without character or depth when we meet our creator?
So living our lives as if each day were the Second Coming doesn’t mean that we only selfishly focus our sights ahead waiting to enter the Kingdom of God, ignoring everyone else on the way. This is not how it works. The only preparation we have for the Second Coming is in this life, and so, it is absolutely incumbent on how we not only treat ourselves, but also how we treat others.
This article is posted here with direct permission from Fr. Cornel Todeasa.