Do you experience Monday Blues? Today I was visiting with some fellow pastors when the subject of Monday Blues came up. Lay people might not understand the pastor’s perspective on this subject, even though Monday Blues is a universal language. For lay people the Monday blues are the result of a busy weekend and passive rebellion about returning to work on Monday. For pastors the Monday Blues are the result of an exhausted spirit.
As I reflected on this concept several thoughts come to mind. Is there spiritual truth to address the Monday Blues discussion? I am reminded of two passages that reflect on the issue. There is the passage in I Kings 19 when Elijah had a meltdown. Elijah had been wide open in ministry mode. Some of his greatest ministry deeds occurred prior to this meltdown.
The other incident affected Jesus. (Mk. 5:25-35) Jesus was walking through a crowd when a lady with a blood infirmity reached out and touched the hem of His garment. Jesus said He felt “power” go from Him. Jesus disciples did not understand this incident. They saw the crowds pressing around Jesus. They thought someone from the crowd had touched Jesus. Jesus knew otherwise. He knew that ministry drains power from the minister.
Both of these incidents illustrate a universal principle. Ministry drains energy from you. This is why Jesus often went aside to pray and replenish His spiritual energy. Jesus managed his depletion by going aside to meet God.
Elijah did not do so well. He crashed after his intense period of ministry. He was depressed, discouraged and defeated.
These stories remind me of an important principle regarding the pastor’s Monday Blues. We can be cynical of these blue feelings or we can embrace them as a fact of life. Ministry depletes your resources. When we embrace this truth we will act proactively toward the negative emotions.
We should never allow the Monday Blues to force us into an impulsive action. Pastors joke about resigning on Mondays. There is more truth than fiction in this concept. We should never give Satan the pleasure of defeating us when we are experiencing a natural low. He takes advantage of our low points. We should learn to manage our low points.
Also, we should embrace “Monday” activities. Some of these nurture a depleted spirit while others fill space while God replenishes our spirit. What are these?
- Some pastors designate Monday as their day off. I have heard others say they are not going to take a day off when they naturally feel depleted. Every individual must identify his emotional rhythms and what works best.
- Another suggestion is to do mundane tasks on Monday. These are the tasks that “must be done” but are not our favorite activities. Filing, writing a newsletter article and busy work are examples.
- Doing non-ministry reading is another Monday morning task.
- Look for little victories to celebrate. These victories are often bright spots in a dark spirit.
- Spend time with fellow pastors. There is the danger of this becoming a “cry time.” However, if we embrace pastors who truly love us, we will draw energy from them.
As we face our Monday Blues all of us must confront them individually. We should always recognize the truth! Monday Blues remind us that we are finite. Monday Blues remind us to wait on the Lord. Remember the advice of Isaiah. “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength.”( Is. 40:30-31) Ultimately this may be why God allows us to experience Monday Blues!