Day 6: what is it about Mondays?
Mondays aren’t always miserable. Sometimes they’re bouncy and optomistic, full of hope and vitality. And sometimes they’re like, well, today. So what is it about Mondays? Why did I bother getting up this morning, drag myself out of bed, wait in the cold rain at the bus stop then sit myself at my desk, when every core of my being told me to stay at home and watch chick flicks?
In chick flicks – and most other American films – following the core of your being is a wonderful thing. It leads to emotive background music and meeting the man of your dreams. Being true to yourself and living through your instincts is, according to popular culture, the way to true happiness.
In reality it is more important to take the sensible decisions if you want a safe, and hopefully successful, life: it is joining an online dating site to improve the odds on finding an ideal partner, it is applying for every job going rather than the one that jumps out from the web page, it is listening to your instincts through double glazing with your eyes tight shut.
In Christianity, and other faiths, it is somewhere between the two. Instinct and feelings are as integral to being a faithful Christian as following doctrine and being a model citizen.
One of my favourite writers is Reinhold Neibuhr, who wrote – among many things – the prayer now known as the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I think perhaps this is the prayer that I should take to my heart on a Monday morning. My instinct to stay in bed was purely selfish, even the most saccharine of Miramax producers would find it hard to justify lying abed on a Monday for the greater good.
My instinct to get up and out and take on the cares of the world, despite their weight, is one that requires the Grace of God.