It’s Monday again. I don’t have a problem with Monday. Monday is a good day, a day when I get the house back in order after the weekend, ease the kids back into a routine, wash loads and loads of laundry, and stay home as much as possible. I like Mondays. Still, I try to avoid Facebook on Monday mornings. It makes me depressed to see all the statuses that read something along the lines of “Sigh…Monday…back to work…hate my life…” etc. Depressed and kind of a little angry. I know life throws lemons at you sometimes and there is no sugar for the lemonade in sight…but maybe there’s a Publix or something a few miles down the road? Maybe we can put some effort into finding some sugar to sweeten the sour days?
Or maybe what it really comes down to is that life seems too complicated to find and do that one profession you feel you were made for. If only I were a Facebook god. I would read all the status updates my friends write about their weekends versus what they write about their day jobs and I would make changes. Sydney would be a photographer instead of a daycare worker. Nelly would make money off of her awesome DIY projects instead of squeezing them in between teaching jobs. Charles would be a sports historian. Lenny would be a revered movie critic. Rilla would have the babies she’s been praying for and be the stay-at-home-mom she wants to be. Dina’s weekend gigs would get her a record deal that would go platinum. Renee would tweet about celebrity hairstyles for US Weekly. And, of course, I would be asked to write reviews of awesome books for bookoos of money. (Not that book lovers care about money! We’re starving artists, too, in a way).
(I don’t actually have any of the Facebook friends named above. But you get the idea.)
Who wouldn’t want to wake up on Monday morning to a Facebook message that reads, “Hello. I have noticed your love of painting, and have set up a studio for you on Rainbow Street. Please go there, paint a masterpiece, and I will make sure it sells for a million bucks.” Can’t this whole deciding on and pursuing a career process get a little easier? So many people feel stuck again on Monday morning. Or Tuesday or Thursday or maybe even Saturday, depending on your work schedule and life. I wouldn’t choose any other profession at this point in my life, and I still wake up some mornings feeling like I just can’t face the day.
So why doesn’t the real God change our lots in life? Why doesn’t He make it easier to achieve the vocations we feel most called to?
I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve watched some truly gifted and hard working people in my life go for years working at a job that pays the bills while doing what they’re truly passionate about only in the evenings and on weekends. These were people who actively sought God’s will in their lives. They were followers of a God who has a plan for them. And they believed even when the plan didn’t come out how they had hoped or envisioned. I admire their faith. But I still want them to be able to do what they love.
And I know I can’t see the big picture and thank goodness I don’t have the power to change lives around to be what I think is better. God is infinite and perfect and always loving, and I am none of those things. I know He is sovereign and trustworthy. Still, I am a “fixer.” I want to make things better now. I’m reading Helen Hull’s Islanders right now, a book about a woman who feels stuck in her life because she has no money in a time when opportunities are limited for women. I like the book, but it’s also driving me crazy! Poor woman. I don’t want to be like that. She took what she was given, but so far in the book, she hasn’t tried to sweeten it much. Even if I can’t change where I am, even if you can’t change where you are, I hope we don’t get sucked into monotony without joy.
So where can we go from here on this Monday morning? Is the moral of this post going to be some cliche like “Bloom where you’re planted” or an even worse cliche like “Follow your dreams”? Neither. I don’t think there can be a moral that fits every person in this scenario, other than this: find the joy sugar to sweeten the lemons. Open your eyes wide to really see why the joy is missing from your Monday. Is this all there is for you? Are there changes you can make to achieve goals and maintain your responsibilities? I don’t know what the best path for you is. But I do know that joy is always possible. Finding joy where you are or finding joy in going where you want to go can make all the difference. I understand the pull between your dream job and your reality. But I’ve learned that the act of taking that first faith step almost always leads to the next step. Maybe you’re more ready than you think to make a career overhaul. Maybe you can only change your perspective on life and not your life’s work. Either way, get to the nearest store and get some sugar to go with your lemons. It’s Monday, and we all need some lemonade.