BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney

for “Miserable Monday” (23 January 2006)


1/8W + (D-d) + 3/8(TQ) + M(NA) sums it up[1].  According to Dr Cliff Arnalls of Cardiff University, this formula points to today being the low spot of the year.  Bad weather and grey skies; facing up to the Christmas overspend; no more parties and celebrations for a while, broken resolutions.  And it’s a Monday!  The start of the working week.  No lie-ins like yesterday.


And those songs!  The Mamas and Papas sang “whenever Monday comes you can find me cryin’ all the time”, The Bangles complained of “another manic Monday”, and even St Bob of Geldof sang “I Don't like Mondays: I want to shoot the whole day down”.


But are things really that miserable?  A few weeks ago I flew to Germany.  At take-off, there was heavy low cloud and it was drizzling and it was very dark and gloomy.  But a minute after take-off we were above the clouds, and I had to pull the window blind down, so dazzling was the sunlight on the top of the clouds.  While at ground level everything was cheerless, the sun was still shining, even though the earthbound couldn’t see it.


For me, there’s a song by T-Bone Walker that spells out how I keep a perspective on this depressing day.  It goes: “They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.  Wednesday's even worse; Thursday's awful sad.  The eagle flies on Friday, Saturday I go out to play.  Sunday I go to church where I kneel down and pray.”


It’s God who recharges my batteries, who lifts me up from moments of doubt and fear.  One of the old Psalms puts it in a nutshell: Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?  Why are you crying the blues?  Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face.  He's my God.[2]


I know that, even when I can’t see where God is in anything, even when you aren’t aware of his presence, He is still there, above and beyond the clouds of despair.  So my prayer for us today comes from the musical comedy “No, no, Nanette”: I want to be happy.  But I won't be happy till I make you happy too.


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[1] W = weather, D = Debt, d = January income, T = time since Christmas, Q = time since failed “quit” attempt, M = general Motivation levels, NA = Need to take Action

[2] Psalm 43:5, MSG