Processing Sundays on Mondays

Every pastor I know struggles with Sundays on Monday. I have a good friend whose habit I have adopted. He refuses to take Monday off. The letdown after Sunday is often so profound that he says, "if I'm going to feel this crummy, someone ought to be paying me to do it." 

Sundays are a little bit like Christmas, and a little bit like Halloween. They're like Christmas in that the anticipation and planning of several weeks comes together in a huge celebration. 

Sundays are like Halloween in that most people approach you wearing a mask, and it isn't until they begin talking that you know what's underneath. Since pastors are only able to engage with many members of their congregation one day a week, it's necessity that most of the kind words of people get saved for Sunday. The gripes do too. 

I'm certainly not complaining - it's what I signed up for. But the result of Sunday for any pastor can be a disorienting mixture of adrenaline, emotion, praise, and criticism. Most pastors I know spend a large part of Monday trying to catch their bearings and get back on the horse. 

I read the story below on a Monday morning, and it immediately connected with me when it comes to the roller coaster of Halloween that I find myself processing on Mondays. Really old guys have a tendency to say really smart things. 

(HT: Michael Hyatt)

"A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian and said to him, “Abba, give me a word, that I may be [sanctified].’ So the old man said, ‘Go to the cemetery and insult the dead.’ The brother went there, hurled insults and stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, ‘Didn’t they say anything to you?’ He replied, ‘No.’

“The old man said, ‘Go back tomorrow and praise them.’ So the brother went away and praised them, calling them Apostles, saints and blessed people. He returned to the old man and said to him, ‘I have complimented them.’ And the old man said to him, ‘Did they not answer you?’ the brother said, ‘No.’

“The old man said to him, ‘You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak; so you, too, if you wish to be [sanctified] must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of others or their praises, and you can be [sanctified].’”