To say Monday’s are a struggle is an understatement as much as it is a cliche. Unless you’re a minister (who often take Monday off) getting up to start the weekly grind again is not something a ten year old or anyone looks forward to. Waking from a restful slumber. Climbing out of a warm bed. Coffee. Commuting. Co-workers all sensing your pain but showing no mercy. We’re all in the same boat.
When I asked my son what it was about Monday’s that would make it the worst day of the week I was surprised by one of the reasons. Mass. Not gathering with the masses in a unified misery on route to someplace other than a couch in from of the TV. No, he meant ‘Mass’ as in the Catholic sense. At his school, Monday begins with “a long, boring mass,” he always laments. How sadly he misses the blessings awaiting him in that freezing cold, marble framed sanctuary.
For many, morning mass might be just the thing we need to squeeze out a little extra peace and stillness before the chaos and demands of employment kick into full gear. Or dare I say, this weekly ritual is the perfect place get an extra hour of sleep. It’s quiet, repetitive, just boring enough to lull one off with the sheeps. Don’t get all upset, God does promote rest. It’s a commandment I recall. My son doesn’t see it this way. Mass (and school for that matter) is just more proof that God doesn’t seem to listen to kids prayers.
The problem of living with a minister of a home church is it might seem like you are always in church, because technically you are. And that’s an honest struggle for my kids, not to mention their parents. Sometimes we need to leave the church to find rest. Even though we know better, there are times that we struggle to find it out there...in the “real world” with commuters and coffee addicts.
Deep down in my heart I know it’s wrong to want to always escape from the stuff in my life, and I know there will always be days when I’d rather stay in my pj’s, literally and figuratively.
Some days it’s easier to just face my struggles by staying in bed. Covers over my face. Pillow over covers that are over my face. Someday I don’t want to get dress. But something typically comes up where I have to go outside my place of comfort and just deal with it. Just for the record, those days are usually Mondays. Eventually I have to get up if only to eat or go potty. Eventually I have to face the “I don’t want to’s” and just get on with it knowing that the weekend is a few long days and nights away.
Today I learned that some wise person saw this problem and decided to do something about it. Cancel Monday’s? I wish. No, he or she did the next best thing. Declared every April 16th would be a day where every employee across the country would wear their pajamas to work. It’s the next best thing to staying in bed!
Beyond television personalities and perhaps employees of some tech start-up, I’m not sure everyone takes full advantage of this brilliant idea. For example I can’t imagine police chasing criminals in their long-johns and night shirts, or firefighters knocking out blazes in their adult footsies. But maybe they should. Because this one simple, albeit odd, observance does sort of speak to the way we ought to deal with our struggles and troubles in the world. That is to say we should approach them: causally.
Staying in bed and ignoring the things in life we don’t want to deal with never solves the problem. But what if we could approach our problems in the casual comfort of lounging around on a lazy Saturday morning?
The Bible states, in some form or another, “Do not worry” 365 times. That’s one time a day. Perhaps it’s because God knows we need to be reminded every day to allow God to be the center of your life no matter what you’re dealing with. It’s not to say struggles or problems will not exist, they will. The difference is, God will be there to help you navigate through these dark waters so you can be at peace (or rest).
Let’s face it, if anyone knows struggles it’s God. If anyone knows rest it’s God. And if anyone truly knows God...it’s Jesus who said, “Give me your struggles and I will give you rest.” These words fit me like a well worn pair of flannel jammies. Soft and comforting.
Next time you feel stress, or burnout, anxiety, or worry think of God in a cotton robe and fluffy slippers, or try to picture Jesus in a bright yellow happy-face onesie. And remember not only his words of invitation but also the examples he set by giving over the burdens he carried for us over to God who will give them rest.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28