Have you ever identified with this little guy? I certainly have. Tim Hansel, in his book, Holy Sweat, has written that the problem with life is “that it is so daily.” How many times have you found that one day looks like another and certain days look like they have for every week ad nauseum. Makes you think like Mork from Ork, “ah, deja vu all over again.”
At times we despise routine, thinking of it as a rut. And you know the definition of a rut–a grave with both ends knocked out of it.
We despise it, that is, until something painfully extraordinary happens to us–like Superstorm Sandy or the news that we have cancer and are destined for multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Depending how long that extraordinary interruption occurs; that becomes the routine we despise, then we long for the return of those ruts.
These past few months I have been teaching a class on New Testament Foundations to 16 students in what is called the Pastoral Training Institute. It’s a sort of Readers’ Digest romp through the 27 powerful and inspired books that compose the New Testament. But in it, we seek to embrace the highlights of that God-breathed wisdom flowing from the pens of those apostolic writers.
This verse from the Apostle Paul was on our syllabus this past week. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:12-13.
Part of the problem with our Mondays, or all of our days for that matter, is that we see them as something to be endured instead of embraced. We have not learned the secret of contentment and without contentment there is generally no true thanksgiving or giving at all, for that matter.
Paul says that the secret is the presence of God working in and through us. When we recognize that God is with us, and when we permit Him to dwell within us, He then shapes our lives and empowers us to make the best of all situations. Then we have a reason to be thankful and out of our own gratitude we become people of giving–of blessing.
Jill Briscoe once taught me a prayer that has forever stayed with me, and which I pray every day–especially on Mondays. “Lord, help me to be the blessing I am blessing to be.”
On this Monday, at the beginning of Thanksgiving Week, maybe we need the attitude adjustment that comes from the prayer, “Thank God, it is Monday!”
(C) 2012 by Stephen L. Dunn
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