Mondays are hard for a reason: they are stark reminders for many of us that, though the Sabbath rest was sweet, it is not our daily reality. There is work to be done. There are lists to be made and re-made. There are people to see and projects to advance. All this can serve to discourage us and make us feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the week ahead.
This is not unlike the life of following Jesus. We have certain sweet moments that seem like they could last forever, but they don’t. We have times of deep thanksgiving, praise and purpose that feel like they could fuel a hot, burning discipleship for the rest of our lives, but they don’t. We get so easily discouraged, then, when it seems like this following of Jesus takes some effort that we seem incapable of producing.
But take heart. It’s not actually about our performance or our ability to face all the work of the week, or of discipleship, and conquer it. There is work and effort, to be sure. But there’s a subtle shift of focus that sets us free. I think Eugene Peterson captures it beautifully in his book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction:
“Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own; finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals but by believing in God’s will and purposes; making a map of the faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasms. It is out of such a reality that we acquire perseverance.”
So today, let’s pay more and more attention to the map of God’s faithfulness in our lives and remember that it is He who carries us on.
Grace and Peace,