Monday, February 25, 2013

Kicking Monday's Patootie

"borrowed" from the web
image “borrowed” from the web
img-thing‘ve never understood the widespread aversion to Mondays. But I do understand that the phenomenon is quite real.
Statistics show that more suicides occur on Mondays, that more sick days are taken on Mondays, that more break-ups happen on Mondays, and that work-related productivity is markedly low.
I even read one article referencing research that concludes: “Mondays are even more depressing that we thought. On average we don’t crack our first smile until 11:16 am.”
Various interventions are recommended to deal with the problem, including this gem of advice from a British newspaper. “According to the study, the best way to beat those Monday blues is by indulging in activities like watching television, having sex, online shopping, buying chocolate or make-up, or planning a holiday.”
Believe me, we can do better than that!
CURE: I could go on, but I don’t think any of us needs any additional information to bolster the “Mondays are uniformly regarded as difficult” premise we’re discussing.
What does warrant some consideration, however, is my alternate contention that “Monday Rocks!” Fact is, today has the potential to be consistently awesome and – in truth – Monday presents us with a unique opportunity to invite others into the awesomeness that is “The Life-Charged Life.
I’ll try to write short version of how I’m thinking, and it’s all based on my weekend reading of the entire Gospel of Mark.
SCRIPTURE: Here’s one passage (Mark 6) that – I believe – brings this conversation together. It comes from the beginning of chapter six:
[Jesus] left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
The key ideas are, “[They] were astounded!” and “They took offense at him.”
COUNTERCULTURAL: The word “astounded” comes up all the time during Mark’s account of Jesus. Jesus said things and did things that totally knocked people’s socks off.
  • Jesus entered a world where power was defined by brute force and leadership by coercion. His response? He offered power in weakness and became a servant leader.
  • Jesus was born in a culture where human misery was attributed to the gods’ displeasure, and – in response – he offered a God of compassion who literally touched the untouchable.
  • Jesus moved in a religious milieu where adherents sought to earn divine favor by slavishly observing harsh rules and judging one-another without mercy. But he said “If you feel burdened by guilt and religious requirements, come to me; I’ll give you rest for your troubled souls.”
  • Jesus shared his wisdom in the local synagogue, where leaders routinely put others down, and tried to make themselves look important. The people couldn’t help but notice the contrast, “They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1)….
  • Jesus was/is at large in a world that is defined by such negative ideas as “Monday Sucks,” and “Why bother….” But – instead – Jesus offers “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you” (Mark 5:19).
Point being, Jesus turns things upside down. The Jesus Way consistently leaves the world astounded. When the world gets astounded, and then turned upside down, the world often takes offense.
KICK MONDAY’s DERRIERE: My conclusion, then, is to invite Jesus to turn our Mondays upside down. Jesus, in partnership with you, is more than willing to kick Monday’s patootie – and then take on the rest of the week too.
In Confidence – DEREK

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