"Hanging around, nothing to do but frown,
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."
It's raining, it's Monday morning, my neck hurts, and I have a flat tire.
Oh yeah, I also am a Cleveland Browns fan...I couldn't be happier! I know that all the naysayers are lambasting the pick, they keep mocking & smirking, "Johnny football will be a historic flop."
Who cares? For years Cleveland football has been as dismal and disappointing as waking up to a flat tire and rain - - like I did this morning.
But that's life, disappointment comes; and every once in awhile, so does Johnny football. A little glimmer of hope, some excitement, a signal that there may be better times just around the corner.
Depression is easy to come by -- and in some warped way, sadness can be rather comforting. It is like having a sympathetic friend that is more than willing to lend perfect harmony when you need a partner for singing the "blues." This melancholy friend will always be the first to excuse you when you want to act cold and detached toward others; and depression becomes your best ally when you want to indulge.
"Go ahead and eat those three pieces of rich sponge-cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices....mmmm....drive that fork in....you need something fun right now to take your mind off the rain."
"Hey, let's hide out in the basement, grab a blanket and a bowl of popcorn, and watch all three 'Jason Borne' movies... you need to escape right now!"
Oh sweet depression, an ever present help...to...trouble. Yep, that's right, he has some secrets. Depression has a hidden agenda for you. Sure he knows how to comfort you; but he is also hoping to get you drifting away from faith's shore. He loves to cut the moorings from the dock of hope when you're not looking; and then, if he can get you floating far enough away from the promises of God, you are positioned perfectly to be blasted by despair's hurricane winds.
Depression, sadness, gloom...if they are not closely watched, just like paranoia, "will destroy ya."
So enter stage right: Johnny Football!
God always has some unforeseen player ready to blast away at the cold blue haze that depression has placed around your heart. Jesus loves to come to your rescue when you least expect it. For some people, God sends a real, flesh and blood friend, to listen and offer solid advice. Sometimes it is a check in the mail you forgot about. It can even be Johnny Manziel.
You may think I am strange, but when you are sunk deep in depression, everything seems hopeless. "A flat tire, rain, a stiff neck, bills, bills and more bills, and the Monday blues to boot!" And then, like a shot out of the clear blue, you hear some news that reminds you, "God always, and I mean always, has a trick up his sleeve." So Chris, you mean God specifically sent Johnny Football? No, and maybe, for me personally, yes. Who knows? (With God, nothing is impossible.)
But this I know: as a lot, human beings are notoriously simple minded, easily persuaded that there is no hope. Just read the story in Luke 8:22-25; a storm came up on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus' disciples screamed in fear, "We are going to die." Jesus, who was comfortably sleeping before their hysterics, woke up and said, "Storm, be quiet! And disciples, you have such little faith."
We all have such little faith: and in our moments of darkness Jesus wakes us up with a quick rebuke to wind, sky and human hearts to say - - "I am in control, stop fearing!" Oh boy, how I need to hear that every single, solitary moment of my tiny frail life.
It is still raining, my neck still hurts and yes, it is still Monday. But I have reasons to smile: My tire is fixed, Johnny Football is throwing the pigskin in Cleveland, and honestly, have you seen how gorgeous my wife is looking lately? (Guys, that is none of your business!)
So back to normal life with a new breath of hope, and back to the delicious book I have been reading..."The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," page 155, life couldn't be better!