According to some psychological researchers, you are not alone. January can be a dreary, depressing, downhearted month. More specifically, the first Monday of January is considered the most miserable day of the year.
Did I just hear an Amen?
Multiple factors contribute to so many of us feeling gloomy and guilty. We have already broken a few of those New Year’s Resolutions. The first Monday of the year is usually the first day back at work after an extended holiday vacation. You come home to find your mailbox stuffed with credit card statements. Throw in a typical January weather day of overcast skies, rain, and cold temperatures, and one’s mood can easily become bluer by the nanosecond. And, for those of you still working, your first paycheck may reflect an increase in taxes. Welcome to Melancholy Monday and the post-Christmas letdown.
Time to cry the blues?
Not me. I refuse to be blue. Not gonna sing the blues or even hum the tune. A Blue Monday doesn’t mean a blue week or a blue month or a blue year. I’d rather count my blessings than my blues.
It is a lesson I learned years ago amid a season of blueness. Having a spirit of gratefulness, I discovered, is a certain cure for the blues. The prophet Jeremiah encouraged us …. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls’.” (Jeremiah 6:16) The prophet Nehemiah reminds us that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10b)
Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us that being thankful is a crucial ingredient in finding peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I humbly submit that a spirit of gratefulness is one of those ancient paths of which Jeremiah spoke.
So I am going to enter the Grateful Gate and follow the path of being thankful. In other words, I am going to walk the blues away, traveling down one of those ancient paths — counting my blessings, being a blessing, and giving thanks to the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier. Because while some days may be blue, my heart doesn’t have to be.
Happy New Year! May 2020 be a year when you walk the blues away.
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