I stood at the door of my flat this morning with last night’s reading in my right hand and my head in my left. The first day of this new initiative and I was already falling at the first hurdle.
But it’s Monday. It’s a crap day. I feel crap, the week’s going to be crap, I might as well read something to cheer myself up…
This must surely be a commuter doctrine: that for even the most cheerful of travellers, the sheer weight of peer pressure and past experience will render your Monday morning crap.
One way of improving my general outlook would be to begin seeing this through. So, as a twenty-first century compromise, I put on my iPod and listened to a Philip Yancey talk from this year’s Greenbelt. Two in fact, by the time I got there and back again. What a delicious irony that he exhorted me at one point to do things I didn’t want to do; using the analogy of the Olympian who trains through sleet and rain for a worthy prize, he asks: “surely something as precious as a relationship with God requires that kind of effort?”
It was a greater comfort to hear someone speaking than my usual playlist. Not least because I know all those songs already. Aside from the odd Bob Dylan lyric or Spice Girls melody, there is little that I would take notice of or find new interest in. A good friend of mine uses his commute to listen to new artists downloaded the night before. I’d like to think I’m trying a theological equivalent.