Six a.m. The alarm goes off, and my hand immediately fumbles for the snooze button. I grab my phone to make sure I’ve got the right time, squinting in the light of the screen. It’s Monday morning. And the end of yet another way-too-short weekend.
I hate Mondays.
And I’m sure I’m not alone in this aversion. For starters, I have Garfield, the cranky, corpulent kitty-cat of comic-book fame, on my side. But that fact provides little comfort when an alarm is blaring in my ear at six o’clock on a Monday morning.
I don’t always hate Mondays, though. There are those just-had-a-fantastic-weekend Mondays, where anything, even Monday morning seems hopeful. There are those starting-a-new-job Mondays, when I wake up three hours before I need to because I’m so excited I can’t sleep. And there are those first-day-of-summer Mondays, when I can’t wait to get out of bed and start something new and exciting.
The trick is finding the motivation to get up and start another week when I’m already behind on my schoolwork and I’m still tired from last week and it’s raining outside. It’s days like these that I’m tempted to just stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and try to forget about everything. These are the Mondays I really love to hate. These are the days I bring my own rain cloud with me wherever I go, and everyone I meet knows it’s one of those Mondays.
And this description fits the majority of my Mondays to a T.
In the midst of one of my many Monday laments, a friend once commented to me, “If you hate all your Mondays, you end up hating one seventh of your life.” And that really struck me. That’s a lot of time to spend hating your life. The truth is, if I’m miserable, it’s because I choose to be. Regardless of how Mondays make me feel, I still have a great deal of control over how I react to them and what I do with them.
“Attitude is everything”: this cliché has been passed around till it’s old and tired, but it is none the less true. There are unpleasant things in life that we all must face, but the attitude with which we approach them makes the difference between triumph and defeat, joy and misery.
Founding father Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Too often, we’re satisfied to let the second half of that statement describe us. And in this respect, we’re our own worst enemies in tackling the tough things in life.
We must realize each challenge not as a hardship, but an opportunity. Each challenge brings the distinct possibility of failure and disappointment. But it also brings opportunities to succeed, to grow and to glorify God.
Monday happens once a week, whether I like it or not. That alarm will go off at 6 a.m.
And then I have a choice. I can make the best of my Monday, or I can let it get the best of me. Will I do my best to live joyfully and do all to the glory of God, or will I just give up and let discouragement steal my joy?