Why does Monday get such a bad rap? It is the start of a new work week. It does end the weekend. It does create havoc for many. It is so far away from the weekend. Monday, it isn't really as bad as you think though.
Today, I decided to take some comp time away from work. I worked on my day off last Friday and just needed a headspace day. As usual, I headed to the woods. Today I was accompanied by my wife, Tracie. Today will be a day we'll never forget for you see it is the day our son will take that midnight ride onto Parris Island South Carolina to begin his Marine Recruit Boot Camp. With that thought pervading our minds, we decided to connect with nature. Parents really have no way of knowing where their child is in the Marine machine of paperwork, testing, traveling, and eventual entrance into the devil's den called Parris Island. Our hearts felt a little heavy and unsure and our minds were a little foggy.
We gathered our hiking gear, water, and some snacks. Driving to the venue was uneventful until Tracie realized her phone was back home 20 miles away. It would have been nice to have it to take pictures and also to monitor any calls regarding our son's travels. I remembered my phone....(Insert huge smile here).
As we pulled into the lot at 1000 steps, I realized I had driven the 25 miles without my wallet (license). (Insert huge frowny face here). Did I mention our minds were a little foggy? Stupid Monday!
I murmured something about Monday and we readied to climb the steps. About 200 steps into our ascent, I noted a man (we'll call him Gary, not his real name) in front of us and he seemed to be laboring more than normal. I mentioned the same to Tracie and we continued to slowly catch up to him. Then, just like that he surged ahead of us and disappeared. At the head of the 1037th step we started to hike around the mountain to the 'dinkey shed' and happened into the man who was previously laboring up the steps.
As we passed and said hello, he asked if it was our first time and we said, "no". The conversation wound around to our walking sticks and he mentioned his age and need for a good walking stick himself. I offered to make him one free of charge if he would share his contact info. He did. He then mentioned he was a Marine retired....I looked at Tracie and she looked at me with stunned looks.
I was a bit overwhelmed this encounter would occur on Monday, the day our youngest was beginning boot camp, the day everything seemed to be going wrong. How was this possible? Was it luck, coincidence, fate, or some aligning of the stars that connected us with this Marine who brought us a sense of calm and comfort? Many of you know I don't hold luck, coincidence, fate, or astrology as things that determine my course of life. Many of you now I adhere to a philosophy that God is ever present in our lives and is able to connect the dots of a puzzle to assure us that things are still in control.
Gary turns out to live about five miles from us in Lewistown. Small world. Monday started to look a little better. We parted company with lighter hearts and smiles on our faces. I pondered the odds of meeting a Marine who would stop and engage us in encouraging conversation. Crazy. Right?
We hiked another 3 miles to the top of the mountain, had a snack, and as I sat there I removed my hearing aid to chase a tickle out of my ear canal. We tarried a bit then headed back down the mountain. About a mile down the mountain, I swept my hand past my ear to chase gnats away and then it dawned on me that my hearing aid was NOT in my ear..... (I had never placed it back in my ear before leaving the mountaintop). [Insert pained look here...]
Stupid Monday. Long story short, I ran back up to the top, retrieved the hearing aid, ran back down to Tracie patiently waiting for my return and we had a good laugh over our predicament. She definitely married down 34 years ago.
Some days called Monday are not as dreadful as we might make them out to be. It is another day the Lord has made and offered to us. What we do with it is up to us. The understanding that God is in the Mondays of our lives hopefully encourages you to embrace Mondays as an opportunity to bump into holy moments.
"To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy -- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen." (Jude 24-25, NIV)
PS: As I finish this blog, we await the midnight call from Joe announcing he is on the Island. Then it will be....Good Monday or Tuesday!
"A Musing Pastor"