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Sudden Tempest

Wednes­day. [Col. 1:18–23; Luke 8:22–25] When they got in the ship to sail to the oth­er side of the lake, did the apos­tles think that they would meet with a tem­pest and expose their lives to dan­ger? Mean­while, a tem?pest sud­den­ly arose and they did not expect to remain alive. Such is the path of our life! You do not know how or from where misfor?tune will sweep in, capa­ble of de?stroying us. Air, water, fire, beasts, man, bird, house, in a word — ev?erything around us could sud­den­ly be trans­formed into a weapon for our death. From this comes a law: live in such a way that every minute you are ready to meet with death and fear­less­ly enter into its realm. This minute you are alive, but who knows whether you will be alive the next? Keep your­self accord­ing to this thought. Do every­thing you have to, accord­ing to the rou­tines of your life, but in no way for­get that you could imme­di­ate­ly move to a coun­try from which there is no re?turn. For­get­ting this will not post?pone the deter­mined hour, and in?tentional expul­sion of this deci­sive upheaval from your thoughts will not lessen the eter­nal mean­ing of what will hap­pen after it. Com­mit your life and all into the hands of God; spend hour after hour with the thought that each hour is the last. From this the num­ber of emp­ty plea­sures will decrease; while at death this depri­va­tion will be im?measurably rec­om­pensed with a joy to which there is noth­ing equal in the joys of life.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse