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Finding Peace This Christmas When Your Heart is Restless

I started working full time for Amazon in June of 2013. After a rough and tiring first few months, a couple of doors opened which led to the perfect job that matched my skillset. Subsequently, from October 2013 to June 2022, I was at peace with my position as a Field Representative working with customer and vendor complaints as a branch of customer service. Some nights I was an insurance agent and others a problem solver to ascertain what happened to a particular product and why. While my mind was overwhelmed on numerous occasions, my body was never challenged except for walking over 10 miles from time to time.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [o]ease and relieve and [p]refresh [q]your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([r]relief and ease and refreshment and [s]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [t]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne, Matthew 11:28-30.

Beginning July 1st after taking a hardship transfer and demotion, the exact opposite is true. My mind isn’t asked to dig deep, but my body regularly participates in a series of workouts each quarter which may last from 30 minutes up to 2 hours and 30 minutes. The apostle writes to the Church at Corinth, a city which hosted a major track and field competition in the off years of the Summer Olympics. Paul gets into the minds of a few athletes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The point of Paul’s message is that premiere athletes push their bodies farther than anyone else, reaching heights few people thought were possible.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows). 11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep, John 10:9-11.

As an old white man facing his second straight week of working 60 hours, I have aches, bones, and joint pain that I never knew existed until now. While my heart is restless, not knowing if my body will hold up for the final 3 weeks before Christmas, I need to regain that cross-country runner mindset that I possessed for nearly a decade. Christmas will arrive on time, December 25th as always, but will I fight through this pain to find peace on earth? I’ll let you know either way. Yet, for now Jesus wants you and I to lighten out loads and remove any heavy baggage so our souls will be refreshed. Join me on this journey to find peace when your heart is restless.

by Jay Mankus

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