It’s a question we should ask ourselves from time to time. We just cannot and should not end the day in any which way. There is actually a proper way to do it, and we should be aware that many are the ways that are actually not proper to us, and worse, are even dangerous to us, health-wise, spirit-wise, or otherwise.
To end the day without a clear way of doing it is rather not good. We would just be at the mercy of our physical, emotional and psychological conditions that can swing here and there, causing us to lose our sense of balance, stability and focus. That kind of ending the day is proper more to animals than to men.
Especially when we end the day with worries and anxieties still gripping us, or with anger, resentment and hatred still dominating our mind, or when we still have tension and stress running through our body, etc., we should realize that we are ending the day badly.
The ideal condition to end the day is when we are at peace, happy, feeling reassured even if there are still things to be done, problems to solve, issues to be resolved, failures and mistakes to make up.
The ideal condition to end the day is when we really would have a good rest, not only physically, emotionally, psychologically, but most importantly, spiritually. We feel reassured that we are resting with God, with Christ who precisely told us to go to him since he is the one who will give us rest. (cfr. Mt 11,28)
The ideal condition to end the day is when we feel we have accomplished at least something in accord with God’s will. And for that reason, we feel thankful and eager to continue doing more good. Of course, we would have the usual share of failures and other negative things, for which we should just say sorry and feel reassured that God always forgives. It’s his delight to forgive.
We have to realize first of all that we end the day more or less also in the way we begin and spend the day. Did we begin and spend it with God or just with our own selves, chasing our own things? Did we follow God’s commandments or simply followed the dictates of our flesh and the things of the world?
We have to realize more deeply that the proper way to spend the day and, in fact, to live our life is to live it with God and for God.
We have to learn how to react promptly and properly when we stray from that rule. And nowadays, that rule may require tremendous effort since we are bombarded right and left with pressures that lead us to self-indulgence. We may not even notice it.
Our way of ending the day should somehow reflect the way Christ ended his redemptive mission on earth. There will be some kind of suffering and death also, but the resurrection is assured.
It would be good that we make an examination of conscience before we go to bed so that, at least, we can have an idea of how the day was spent, thankful for the accomplishments and sorry for the negative things. That way, we can reconcile ourselves with God and with everyone else, both offering and asking for forgiveness, as the case may be.*