Hope In Wednesdays

I don’t like Mondays.

I know, I know, I know…so unholy to admit that, especially because, well, Monday’s also a day that the Lord made, so I should rejoice and be glad in it. It’s another day that I’m alive. It’s a day to go to a marvelous job where I have the opportunity to help shepherd women to pursue their educational goals and add depth to their spirituality. And most of the time, it’s a running day. And I don’t like running.

Some runners have the grace and speed of a gazelle, or at least the slow and steady endurance of a tortoise. I rock the treadmill, sweat like a guilty man at sentencing, and pant relentlessly until the final seconds tick down to zero. Mascara running, perspiration marks glowing like gym halos, I slither off the torturous mill of tread, victorious, but barely so. Keenly aware of my weakness, odor, and sheer unattractiveness at the moment, I hit the showers, done.

Mondays completely scrub off the squeaky-clean veneer of Sunday services and all the charges to live better, act better, love better. Believe me; as soon as I pull out of my driveway, I’m losin’ my religion faster than an REM song. Mondays remind me, I’m not doing this in my own strength, because I have none.

Enter Wednesday. The Hump Day. The middle of the week. Almost the weekend (I’m squealing as I write that…)! Oh, and the day named after a Germanic god whose talents were quickness and, wait for it, eloquence.

My blog’s on Wednesdays for a reason: I find hope in Wednesday. It’s a balancing day: we look forward to the relief, rest, and recharging of the weekend. We look back at what has been accomplished already–and what hasn’t, and think about how to end the week with effectiveness, energy, and some form of grace.

We’re living in the Wednesday of the story of God’s marathon work with His people: the time in between the spiritual starting-points of creation and atonement, and the finish-line of re-creation and reunion with our Lord. What do we do in the Wednesday of the gospel story? We have the privilege of looking back on our Christian heritage–the witness of God’s people in the Bible and the stories and traditions of martyrs and apostles and the myriads of the faithful.  

And we get to run! Not on our own strength, mind you. I love to think of mounting up on eagles’ wings (especially when I’m winded), and God has provided us His Holy Spirit, to rejuvenate and inspire us when we’re out of breath. He’s in the business of transforming limp dust and dry bones into life.

My prayer is this (even on Mondays): pant hard and ugly, jog with squealing anticipation for the finish line, struggle to keep Jesus as the prize the entire rest of the way, and be grateful for the cloud of witnesses past and present that cheer us on in the Wednesday of the gospel story.

Comments

Gwynne Johnson's picture

And I love the analogy of our "in between" status while we wait for His return! (Which with world conditions racing toward chaos seems near.)

I know! "Racing towards chaos" aptly describes the world we're living in (and I love love love the race analogy...teehee!). The end certainly seems near (and with all the injustice, war, famine, dying children...I want the end to be near so we can be redeemed again).

You know what trips me out about this topic, though? Matthew 24:3-14:

As Jesus was sitting on
the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us,"
they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your
coming and of the end of the age?"Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You
will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not
alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Love the images here!

My favorite subject is the future resurrection and re-creation (which will also be recreation!) of the world. It makes me happy. I love how the Holy Spirit sneaks glimpses of it into today, hump day.

Me, too, Heather. I'm a romantic when it comes to The Redemption...and I want to fly, stare into Jesus' eyes without perishing, and learn how to speak Xhosa. And eat whatever I want, and play with lions.

And see my grandma.

But hey, not yet. There are somehere-and-now things I'm looking forward to as well...walking the dog, talking with friends, snuggling with Jonathan, and music (I'm so glad music won't ever end!).

 

I'm hoping for unicorns in the Resurrection.

And, yeah, the music and the storytelling--that'll be some great stuff!

Heather G.,
You don't have to wait for the Resurrection to see unicorns. Go to Sharifa's place to see Sifl and Olly season four, video 3 (we think. we can never remember). Carl and his backpack made of bark will introduce you to the most holy unicorn you've seen this side of heaven.

Julie C.

BWAHAHAHA!!! Heather, if you ask, I promise to explain. :o)

well written. hopeful. colorful. fantastic.

Yancey, in The Jesus I Never Knew, compares our "now" time to the Saturday between the cross and the empty tomb. it's an interesting tangle with your imagery. granted, they're separate, but I enjoy meshing them.

we KNOW Jesus will rise from the dead (i.e., return), b/c he told us so. but we still gotta wait. until then, faithfulness fueled by grace. we gots nothin' else.

Any comparison to Yancey, I'll take. I get what he's giving. But man, so often, this life doesn't feel like a weekend, you know?

Interesting tangle, indeed.

Thanks, brother. And thanks for being the first dude to comment on a Tapestry blog! You're a legend!

Here are my deep theological questions about your post (which is a brilliant analogy, btw):

1.

Answer 1 - I'm running on Monday because I splurged over the weekend. Did I run THIS Monday? Nope.

Answer 2 - A sistah's gotta look good at the beginning (or, a sistah's going to the gym during her lunch hour, or running right after getting home from work)...:o)

Gail Seidel's picture

Sharifa, yes, you are ALIVE and it is contagious....I may have to tune in and read this again and again just to get energized..almost as good as your singing....can you put that on your Wednesday blog too!..you reminded me that this is not my home and yes, we are just passing through on our way to the Real Party! I know you'll be singing

AAAAAH! I needed that today. Love the idea of being able to "think about how to end the week with effectiveness, energy, and some form of grace." And the thought, that, no matter how ugly the week (year?) gets, He always offers new hope. Thank you, dear heart!

Well said, and encouraging.
In the Christian time line, we've had a fairytale beginning, and believe in a fairytale ending, but at the present time, Gretel's in the oven, and our options start to look pretty slim. You put a great perspective out there for us.
I'm looking forward to this Wednesday already.
J

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