Monday, April 20, 2015

Rainy Days and Mondays

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefor God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.  –Psalm 45:7

What is it about Mondays?  People I encounter on this particular day of the week are sometimes going through the day a little reservedly and hesitantly, as if waiting for something bad to happen.  I am certain you understand.  I have heard pastors refer to this day as “blue Monday.”  We have been going all weekend, we gave ourselves fully to leading in Sunday worship, and then Monday comes.  Yes, it can be a letdown.  For others, the day follows an enjoyable weekend where the realities of work, bills, and real responsibilities return in earnest.  Don’t be surprised if you ask someone on a Monday how he or she is doing and the person replies, “Well, it is Monday.”  It certainly is.

The best advice I can offer for handling Monday is to face it full on, head on, and come out swinging like a prize fighter.  Begin the day by taking time to pray and seek the Lord.  Give to Him the burdens and fears you are facing.  Take time to meditate on God’s Word by allowing its truths to penetrate your mind and heart.  Come up with a workable plan for the day.  Get moving and keep going in God’s strength.  Here are additional strategies that might prove helpful on Monday and any other day, for that matter:

Stop dwelling on past mistakes and failures.  We have all failed in some area, probably miserably.  Seek God’s forgiveness, seek the forgiveness of someone you may have wronged (if this is appropriate), realize you are only human, and move forward.  Do not allow past mistake to define who you are right now.

Get outdoors.  Sunshine is extremely therapeutic. Get outside on a sunny day and breathe in the fresh air. Be thankful for the moment you have to enjoy a clear and beautiful day.  If it’s pouring the rain, be thankful for that too.  Parts of the country are facing drought that is wreaking havoc with crops and water supplies.  The sun will come back out soon.

Get some exercise.  Even moderate exercise such as taking a daily walk works wonders.  Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are physically able to handle whatever exercise routine you choose.

Smile.  Smile at people you know.  Smile and say hello to strangers you pass at the grocery store.  Smile while talking on the phone (the other person will sense it in your voice).  Smiles are indeed contagious, and even if not reciprocated, you will feel better.

Let others have the glory.  Take time to listen.  Don’t interrupt others to tell your story.  If someone is telling about a trip to Florida, just listen.  Resist the urge to tell about how you also went to Florida last year and how great it was.  Let it be about the other person.  People will love you for this.

Be positive and encouraging at all times.  Five years ago, my wife Andrea was in a life and death battle with cancer.  I recall having a conversation with someone about her condition.  The person said, “Oh, that’s a shame.  I had a friend who had the same kind of cancer.  She died in about six weeks.”  That wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear.  Trust me on this; if someone tells you about a loved one who is battling cancer or some other illness, speak only positive words.  “I am so sorry to hear this.”  “I’ll be praying for him.”  “Please let me know if there is anything you need,” are all appropriate responses.  Offer to bring a meal, drive the person to his chemo treatment, or babysit if there’s small kids around.  These acts of kindness are always appreciated. 

I trust this is helpful to you.  Please let me know how I can pray for you today.  As always, you may comment anonymously.  It’s going to be a great day.

God bless you.    

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