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How To Beat the January Blues and Feed The Hungry at the Same Time

What makes you glad? I don’t mean a vague sense of pleasure, or the kind of pleasant happiness you feel when things are going averagely fine. I mean gladtruly glad. The sense of joy bubbling up, of delight dancing out of your soul. What makes you glad? Is it tromping through the woods with a pack on your back? Is it a deep conversation over a cup of coffee? Is it standing behind a podium and imparting wisdom and exhortations to those listening? Is it putting your thoughts and musings into words on a page in a beautiful and eloquent way? Is it making music that expresses the deepest longings of the human heart?

What makes you glad?

Today is the third Monday of January, otherwise known as Blue Monday. (Look it up on Wikipedia. It is a real thing.) (As real as anything on Wikipedia can be at least.) Apparently today, or at least a day in the next week or so, is semi-scientifically proven to be the most depressing day of the year. The ‘merry and bright’ slogan of the holidays has faded, the resolve formed on the first is already dissolving, and the bleak weather of midwinter is taking a toll on those moving through these gray days. There’s an insatiable hunger for something that will warm the inner parts of your soul.

Today is just the day to ask you what it is that makes you glad.

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Before you pass this off as another self-help exercise or three step guide to beating the winter blues, before you decide to simply muscle through the lethargy or post-vacation depression biting at your heart, stop for a moment and dwell on these words.

 

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet. –Frederick Buechner

 

It isn’t just you that is hungry. The world hungers too. And not just the starving kids in third world countries. Your neighbor. Your co-worker. Your spouse. The person walking on the path next to you. This is a hungry world.

 

So what makes you glad? What will ignite your soul on this blue Monday? What will cause you great joy, an outpouring of delight? Because that is exactly what the world is hungry for.

 

There was probably many less than gladdening things that made up the goals compiled at the beginning of this year. Exercise every morning before work. Eat only veggies. Do all the hard projects that were put off last year. Retile the bathroom. Clean out the closet. No more movies, social media, or video games. Make the hard phone calls. Quit smoking. Have the difficult conversations. But even more vital than disciplining ourselves to do these hard things is the task of doing that which makes us glad.

 

God has called us to the place where we are doing what makes us glad. And not simply because he cares about our happiness and wants us to beat the January blues (though this also is true). He has carefully crafted each of our individual hearts to be gladdened by the precise thing that will meet the world’s hunger.

 

So what makes you glad? Go and do it. And see how God uses it to meet the hungry souls around us in these dreary January days.

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    January 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

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