RSS Feed

Tag Archives: taking a mental break

When There’s Not Much to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

This year will be the first Thanksgiving for my wife Leanne without a living parent. Meanwhile, this will be the first Thanksgiving for me without my sister Kathie who is battling blood clots and cancer. While my parents are still living, each have been hindered by a slew of health-related issues in 2022. Subsequently, when there’s not much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, you have to find a siler lining.

Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [[e]and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father, Ephesians 5:20.

One of the ways the apostle Paul remained thankful in the midst of trials was through music. Rather than click on a car stereo or You-Tube, Paul writes about singing his favorite songs from church. Whether you’re humming a chorus in your head, playing an instrument or raising your voice in song, singing has a way of taking a mental break from any pain you’re currently experiencing. Anyone who dwells upon biblically based lyrics will be elevated toward a more thankful spirit.

Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 19 Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19.

If this doesn’t work, Paul urges Christians to turn to prayer. This shouldn’t be haphazard. Instead, prayer should become a state of mind, unceasing throughout your day. Paul suggests that praying is a means to will yourself toward a thankful heart. Unfortunately, the root of bitterness has a way of ruining the mood to pray. Once prayer ceases minds turn their attention away from the Lord and race to anxiety, doubt and worry. If you’re struggling this Thanksgiving to be thankful, may the advice in the passages above turn your week around.

by Jay Mankus

Wasting Away

The average hard working American man or woman doesn’t get up on their weekend with plans to waste away a day. Rather, energy level, focus and motivation will dictate one’s degree of productivity. Depending upon how well or poorly your week went, some people will need a mental break, catching up on lost sleep, reading a book or binge watching a favorite show. In a letter to church leaders, Paul suggests that you have to take care of yourself before you can effectively help others.

Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others, Philippians 2:4.

Despite attempts to maximize my own three day weekends, I find myself caught in a web of unproduction, getting less and less done each day off. The Bible refers to this as idleness, a state of laxity often influenced by boredom. The most famous example of idleness occurs in the passage below. Instead of leading the Israel army into battle, King David decides to take an extended Spring Break. This decision began to waste away at David’s soul, participating in adultery, a cover up and murder of Uriah.

In the spring, when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, when from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very lovely to behold, 2 Samuel 11:1-2.

In their 2010 album, Consider This, Tonight Alive sings about Wasting Away. The lyrics of this song by the same title talks about how dreams are often put on hold by a busy schedule. The excuse to abandon a dream uses the lie, an ungodly belief that “it’s too hard.” Unfortunately, many people blame the fear of failure for not taking risks to follow their dreams. When you come to a point in life where you play it safe day after day, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wasting away.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: