A Monday Challenge

Mondays blitz me.

Even when I’m ready I’m not ready.  I put my clothes out, I pack my lunch and my bag for work, I glance over my calendar, and still, somehow, Monday comes at me like a freight train.  Suddenly I’ve moved from the quiet contemplation of the weekend into chaos: coffee to work to meeting to work to meeting to lunch to some quick tasks to work to dinner to finally time to relax to bed.

I lose the rhythm.  My spiritual life does, too.

I feel close to God when I am being creative, when I’m writing or working on something crafty or artsy.  Conversely, when I am at work and feeling deeply task-oriented, checking items off my list and digging in to projects, my closeness to God feels cursory.  My reactions and responses aren’t steeped in the Word, or in my relationship with Him at all.  I find it very difficult even during lunch to pause and force myself to spend five minutes on prayer, or reading a Bible passage.

But I must, and you must, too.

Mondays set the tone.  Mondays hold a powerful grip over the rest of the  calendar.  Come out of Monday irritated and it’s already a bad week. Come out of it excited and it’ll be hard for anything to get you down.  So much of what the week becomes hinges on that one single, solitary day.

Did I mention I’m task-oriented?  I like lists, tasks, mini-projects, and nothing makes me happier than a feeling of accomplishment.  With that in mind, here’s your five-point checklist for a spiritually-nourishing Monday.  Doing these things won’t guarantee you a good week, but they will put you in the right mindset to start close and stick close to God:

  1. Take five minutes sometime during the day to express gratitude.  That might mean calling or emailing or texting someone to say thank you, thanking God in prayer for something you are grateful for, or even taking five minutes to write down a list of what God has done for you lately.
  2. Do one small thing to build a relationship wherever you are. Chat with your coworker.  Sign a birthday card.  Make that phone call.  If you’re not out in public, build the relationship with your family.  If you’re alone, go out somewhere – to a library, to see a neighbor.
  3. Set a reminder on your phone to nudge you toward God.  Have it pop up as a particular Bible verse, as a reminder to pray, or simply a word: “Pause.”  When it pops up, listen to it.  Stop everything you’re doing, regardless of how urgent it is, and reorient yourself.
  4. Be generous with forgiveness.  Let go of the slights and issues that would normally drive you up a wall.  And when you mess something up, be willing to forgive yourself, too.
  5. Engage in pleasure.  Have an extra-long dinner.  Turn your phone off and crochet for an hour. Take a walk or a long bath.  Listen to some really good music driving home.  Read an extra chapter in that book you promised to hold off on.  When you do, remember the Giver of all good things.

Wishing you a God-centered start to the week!

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