Contemplations

What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How to Handle Blue Monday

"Blue Monday" is a name given to a date calculated to be the most depressing day of the year.

This date was calculated by Dr Cliff Arnall, at the time a researcher/tutor at the University of Cardiff's Center for Lifelong learning, and has been quoted in the popular press. However, Guardian columnist Dr Ben Goldacre stated: "the fact is that Cliff Arnall's equations are stupid, and some fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms.

The Guardian later printed a statement from Cardiff University distancing themselves from Dr Arnall: "Cardiff University has asked us to point out that Dr Cliff Arnall... was a former part-time tutor at the university."

The date was calculated to be January 24th in 2005, January 23rd in 2006, January 22nd in 2007, and January 21st in 2008.

The date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. This date typically falls on the Monday of the last full week of January.

While I don't know about the "mathematical sense" of Arnall's calculations I do have to admit that we do allow some of these factors to affect our moods sometimes. But I also take joy in the fact that followers of Christ do not have to be subject to outward circumstances for our attitude.

In the 22nd Psalm, which is a Messianic Psalm (because it prophecies of Christ, the Messiah) David writes and sings about his "Blue Monday."

He felt:

*Abandoned and helpless
*Ignored
*Despised and rejected
*Ridiculed for his faith
*Taunted by his enemies
*Drained and on the verge of death
*Surrounded by a murderous mob

But, as was often the case, as David sang out his emotions in his prayer-song to God, his defeat turned to victory, his depression turned into praise!

Psalm 22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

If today or any other day is "blue" for you then do what David did - cry out to God. He will hear you and will lift up your spirit as you wait on Him!

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