Yes, I know this is Tuesday. I may be sleep-deprived, but I’m still (90%) coherent and functional. Blue Monday is code for The Most Depressing Day Of The Year. Some “scientist” gathered up a bunch of life factors, hammered out a little equation, and insists he can tell you which day of the year is most depressing. The third or fourth Monday in January typically wins the prize.
In 2005, I remember reading that “scientific studies” confirmed January 27 as TMDDOTY. I was at a funeral that day, so it made sense to me. But not everybody’s sweet Grandpa had left his loved ones on earth and moved in with Jesus, so what was the big deal about January 27? This year, I’m getting conflicting reports. January 18th, 22nd, 25th, 26th… (and none of those are even Mondays)
So, what’s the deal? Why all the January doom and gloom? I know, it’s pretty obvious. The holiday high has worn off, the bitter cold is getting old, and the credit card bills have started rolling in. People are sick, plans are canceled, and you’ve already ripped your list of lofty resolutions to shreds. Football season is practically over, everybody’s got cabin fever, and spring seems forever (and ever and EVER) away.
Of course we’re depressed. Who wouldn’t be?
I’ve noticed something though about all that stuff contributing to our depression–it’s all circumstances. And when we let circumstances dictate our outlook on life, we’re in for a heap-load of trouble. Believe me, I know. I’m the Queen of Circumstance-Controlled Mood Swings. ( Not something I’m proud of.) Books are selling? Girlies behaving? Blog comments rolling in? Color me happy. Writer’s block? Leaky ceiling? House payment overdue? Blue (and Bitter) Monday indeed.
I can’t help but think of Paul’s words in Philippians 4:11–“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Now, there’s something to strive for. How does he do that??
I’m pretty sure I know–“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Fix our eyes on Jesus. Fix our eyes on Jesus. Now, hear me on this one–I’m not saying that if you’re battling depression, you’re just not trying hard enough. I’ve got 3 or 4 handfuls of very dear friends fighting the battle against clinical depression at all different levels.
I’m talking about Blue Monday. Letting life get you down, make you mad. The bills, the weather, your waistline, the messes. I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, not all of that. Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Even on the same day. Hours after we buried my grandpa four years ago, a beautiful little girl–my sweet niece–took her first breaths of air and joined our family. Happy 4th Birthday, Reesey!! Aunt Marla loves you!
My life is a roller coaster. I’m sure yours is too. But my moods don’t have to be–not if I’m fixing my eyes steadily on Jesus.
So, tell me:
1. What’s been making you blue lately? (if you can’t think of anything, don’t rub it in!)
2. And what are some words of encouragement you can share with the class? (if you can’t think of any, just soak up everybody else’s happy thoughts today!)
Thanks so much for hanging out with me here at the ol’ (new) blog! I loved, loved, loved reading your comments yesterday and getting to know you better. I’m looking forward to building into each other’s lives in the weeks and months to come. Have a Blessed Tuesday, friends!