For most of us, we are re-entering the real world today after our brief weekend siesta and the Monday blues are hitting hard. Fatigue, stress, melancholy, and those ‘I need a vacation’ feelings are resettling themselves in our bones. Life is beginning to look downright overwhelming.
At least, that’s how I often feel; like I’m just barely treading water. But I’ve recently read something that’s shifted my perspective.
My husband and I are going through C. S. Lewis’s ‘Screwtape Letters.’ For those unfamiliar with the book, it is a compilation of letters of advice that a demon wrote to his nephew on how to frustrate his ‘patient’s’ relationship with God. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the enemy’s camp and in chapter six, I found this:
“There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy (God). He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business it so keep them thinking about what will happen to them. Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy’s will. What the Enemy means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him – the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say ‘Thy will be done,’ and for the daily task of baring this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see that the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross, but only of the things he is afraid of.”
That’s when it hit me: almost all of my stress was concerning things that hadn’t even happened yet. Very rarely do we have cause to fear something in the here and now. More often than not, our fears and anxieties center around future events that we don’t even know will take place. Mankind’s greatest fear is the fear of the unknown and as a result, a great deal of our stress is unfounded and illogical. We do not know what the future holds so there’s no way to know that it’s bad.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus says,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Isn’t that the truth. Worrying and stressing about Tuesday does not solve Monday’s problems. The stress is a useless, even harmful, waste of time.
Once you are able to truly leave the future to God, what you are left with seems far more manageable. But there is still unrest; regret, anger, sadness, etc creep into our moods leaving us feeling less than gruntled.
The Bible has an answer to that too:
“but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…” Phil.3:13b.
God has forgiven us and He doesn’t want us to wallow in the past and dwell on regrets. He wants us to forgive ourselves and press on, looking forward to the future, not worrying about it.
Take a few minutes right now to analyze your mood and figure out what’s getting you down. Are any of those things fears of the future? How many regrets and hurts from the past are you holding onto?
Jesus teaches us in Matt.6:11 to ask for our daily bread. He doesn’t want us dwelling in the past or the future. He wants us focused on the present.
Learn from the past, hope and plan for the future, then live in the moment and enjoy your Monday. Because right now is the only time you have for sure. Jesus was there for you yesterday, He will be there for you tomorrow, so enjoy Him today and have an outstanding Monday!