What if we were to speak the truth about Mondays? Here is my list of things that are true about this day for me:
- I said YES to too much last week. I was tired, perhaps exhausted is a better term because I got myself into a position that was not good.
- I have not been sleeping well or enough (part of this is due to the first item on this list and part of it has to do with anxiety and lack of trust that God has my back)
- I procrastinate tasks that frustrate me. I put them in that paperwork stack and forget about them until, on days like this, I have to confront them and somehow deal with unpleasant or mundane details. (Notice that I am actually spending my time blogging and not really confronting the stack;)
- Details such as these can exhaust me.
How can I learn the truth about work today with all of these realities? What would it take for me to see work as good, as a gift from God, and as what I do in partnership with God to bring about good in our world?
As I talk with God about all of these details, I often hear his encouragement to hold onto things loosely. I do what I can and release all other matters into His tender care. For instance, I listen to His voice in, through, and beyond the requests that others make of me. God helps me discern those tasks that I am inclined to say YES to in a hurry to either please someone else or to rescue them from poor planning on their part. As I listen for His voice, I may also discern that there are tasks that I am inclined to say NO to in a hurry from fear or because I want to make life difficult for the one asking. If a particular task does not fit into either of these categories, then I will ask God to show me whether that particular thing is really mine to do. If it is something that I am happy to do and have time to do, then I ask God to show me what it looks like for me to do that task in partnership with Him. If imagining the task and the process is easy and if it will bring glory to God, at that point, I say YES.
If I find in retrospect, like this last week, that I have accidentally said YES to too many things, then I realize that even in the midst of no sleep and chaos, God has a way of bringing good. In the midst of too many tasks, I pray without ceasing and rely heavily on the power of God to fill in all the holes left by my busyness. I also remember during these times that asking for help from others is not a sign of weakness, but a good way to include others in partnering with God. They may not even be aware that you are inviting them into seeing what God is able to do with those who let them have it all.
A final thought is that Monday is a fresh day brimming with ways to partner with God. Like any other day, we can use it as a day to reboot. We have the power to prioritizing our tasks in life. We can begin the week by asking God to show us what we need to see in our work. We can be honest with God about that which is not going the way we had hoped. We can invite His care into our lists of tasks, into our e-mail correspondence, and into our meetings with others. Monday = a day to meet God in our work.