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Overcoming Monday -itis

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”    Matthew 11:28-30 (TEV) 

When you find yourself tired and exhausted, approach Our Lord confidently, as that good friend of ours did, and say: “Jesus, see what you can do about it. Even before I begin to fight, I am already tired.” He will give you his strength. (1)

It’s Monday morning and I am sitting in the office after a very tiring weekend.  I am looking at 2 back-breaking days of work, then going on a retreat where I am still “pastor”.

To be honest, all I want to do is crawl back into bed, relax, and rest and know that He is God.  Gladly let Him rule the universe today, I just want to go back to sleep!   (oh wait – ruling the universe includes me… drats!)

There is little difference between the words of Jesus, and the words of St. Josemarie Escriva.  Indeed, the passage in Matthew came to mind as I closed my devotions this morning with a few similar quotes on pessimism from the book “The Forge”   There is a reason I posted them both, one – to show Jesus commanding us, asking us, to depend on Him, to call upon Him, not just for the forgiveness of sins, but for the strength to endure, even to endure Mondays.  We need to know that Christianity is more about Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, not because we have to be holy all that time (which would be nice) but because God is with us, all that time.

Which is why I put the quote from the Forge.  Having read about the challenges and endurance of a priest caught between wars, challenged by those who valued the system more than the ones it was created to serve, who served sacrificially and diligently and to the point of exhaustion, that  it is encouraging to hear him advise us to ask God for the help GOd promised.  My theory is that we are encouraged by the priest to do this, because it is where he found the strength to do what he did.  To do the work of the gospel, to encourage and train and shepherd people, and to train shepherds, he needed a strength that would empower him through the midst of the tiredness, the exhaustion.

If he experienced the yoke being easy, the burden being light, as he walked with Jesus, if he pointed to those who’ve gone before doing the same thing, if I can think of people in my own generation who walk with Christ – and find the strength to get it done, I know Jesus will be faithful and get me through this day… and the dreaded tuesday.

Jesus commits Himself to fulfill this promise in Matthew.  History and so many saints have testified to Him keeping His promise, in situations more grave than a Monday.  To make that burden easy, to make our work light.  Maybe your exhausted, mentally, physically, spiritually.  You’ve got a case of Monday-itis. and you’ve got it so bad.. that you don’t even have the strength to feel guilty about it. Realize God is with you, empowering you, and lean on Him rather than trying to do it yourself.  Enjoy His presence, and the work… it will get done.

Cry out, “Lord have Mercy”, and know His is with you….even on Monday

 

 

(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1029-1031). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Stressed? The only solution that works

There are days in our lives that are quite stressful – that is something that we all have to face – it is inevitable.  But what makes a difference is how we deal with these stresses.

Some stresses are huge and external – the kind where we look at an issue that is immense, like the stories of genocide, or see victims of crimes and disasters, or even the stories of corruption and misuse of power.  Other stresses are external and closer to home, the illness of friend, the financial struggles of our friends and family, families that are broken.  And some are personal – as we find ourselves isolated in our struggles, as we are challenged by things large and small….

It is overwhelming, and if we are honest, we wonder why, and how long, and will we always feel so… powerless, so broken, so inept, so hopeless.

As a pastor and even before – as a lay leader in the church – these feelings are all to common, as the stresses pressure us in, and it seems like just as we are able to deal with one issue… another situation sneaks up on us.  And as a pastor, I realize that these is true for every family in my church, and all my friends. 

I would say I have a secret for dealing with stress that works everytime, but that would mean I actually use it every time, which would be a lie.  However, when I finally get around to it, it does work…  

Paul writes of this solution to the churches of his day:

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. ”  2 Cor. 4

 I hesitate to quote this – because from our views, those stresses are neither “light”, nor “momentary” but their do afflict us.   Yet it is here we have to slow down and stop – and realize that it is not a statement that is in a vacuum, but one that compares our situation to that which we know is ours in Christ – because He has claimed us.
Okay – so we know – eventually, we will see the truth to God’s promise that all things work for good for those that love God…. that are called within His plan – but how do we deal with that in the hear and now…? 

We know another promise – that He will send His Spirit – the Holy Spirit who walks besides us, comforting us, giving us strength to endure… we realize the promise that He will never leave and forsake us, and we do that which is so out of character for people in 21st century America…. we lean on HIm. We let Him be our Dad… we let Him deal with the struggles, the pressures – trusting that He will….

We stop and remember that we don’t have to play God – for we are the children of the One, True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who would daily take our burdens…

May we indeed let Him. 

 

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