Daily Duty

The shepherds returned. - Luke 2:20

They might have been so enraptured with the sight of the Christ - child that they would not have cared to go away again to their own dull work in the fields. Some people in their ecstasies feel disinclined to devote themselves longer to the prosaic things of this common work - day life. Peter wanted to stay on the Transfiguration Mount; earthly life, with its toils and struggles, would be too tame, he thought, after such ecstatic visions. And surely no human eyes ever gazed on a more glorious vision than that these shepherds beheld that night. Yet they went back to their lowly toil, and no doubt they were just as faithful shepherds after that as they had been before.

We need to learn a lesson here. All our spiritual enjoyments ought to make us only the more diligent and faithful in the duties of our ordinary callings. It is not a true devotional experience which draws us away from our daily duty. The nearer we get to Christ the better should we do all our work. Our love for communion with God and with His people should never make us negligent in the doing of the tasks that the common days bring to us. After our most heavenly experiences on the Sabbath or in the closet of prayer, we should return to our work ever with fresh earnestness and zest.

God gives us our spiritual raptures, our glimpses of His face and His glory, our foretastes of celestial joy, our fragments of heavenly vision, for the very purpose of making us stronger and braver for duty. It will be sad indeed, then, if they make us less fit for life here with its burdens and cares. We should seek to bring the heavenly visions down and give them reality in our lives, that others may see the beauty too, and be cheered by it. Our hours of communion with Christ should leave some gleams of brightness on our faces as we come to walk again in life's dusty ways.