Today is often called Blue Monday, the mid-point in January, the excesses of Christmas are now behind, but the long winter darkness stretches ahead. Today brought sunshine here to Sheffield, and I went mad and cleaned the car in preparation for a trip tomorrow, making sure I put the frost covers on the windshield this evening and setting my alarm in the morning, hopefully I will catch sunrise at the coast, hoping that the Spirit will meet me at the liminal edge of the seashore.
As I write this it is dark, I want to say again, this winter has felt long and hard, I could have made more of the sunshine today I guess, but I didn’t and I am not going to beat myself up for that now. Tomorrow may or may not bring a fresh possibility, I’ll be honest, I am not holding my breath, but am as I said yesterday, hopeful, not for specific answers, but for a way ahead, I may need to look further, I may not, but I need to take this step before I take further steps.
I guess Blue Monday is a reality for many, I confess to feeling it quite acutely, and saying so does help even as I sit preparing for a Bible Study, even as I have filled in the Circuit Plan, I have felt the liminality of it all, but then maybe life itself is often liminal…
- 1.relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
- 2.occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold
Both definitions speak to me about where I am right now, making it really difficult to know exactly how to be fully engaged in anything other than simply being at a point of waiting, a process that currently feels very draining even though I have something to do. I listen to the news and it seems that so many people are in the same place, the question “so where do we stand?” comes up over and over again. The Government have reduced the time of self-isolation for Covid down to 5 days, and yet most people testing positive are still positive at that point, I feel the frustration of friends living with this predicament and the constant testing that goes with it.
I was listening vaguely to Radio 4 this morning and caught a snatch of an interview about our need to recover and recuperate, there was an interview with the GP Dr Gavin Francis, whose book “Recovery, The lost art of recuperation” through which he has addresses the keys concepts of time and compassion in healing and recovery. Some of this comes from personal experience, and some comes from conversations he has had with patients as they struggle to recover quickly. His advice is take time, take time to become well again, take time to become fit again, don’t expect too much from yourself.
Maybe then what we need to hear on Blue Monday is the invitation of Jesus; Come to me…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out ……? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30