Planning a post-Easter hiatus?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

Right now, the land echoes with songs such as “Power in the Blood” and “Because He Lives,” but past performance assures me that the ditty waiting in the wings is (apologies to Alice Cooper) “God’s Out For Summer.”

Yes, countless people (whether unchurched or nominally religious) are counting down the days until Easter goes hopping down the bunny trail for another year.

Admittedly, these folks have endured four or five stressful months. Sure, there have been talking snowmen, Cupid and green beer to keep them distracted; but some killjoy inevitably brings up “the reason for the season” or delves into the real-life travails of Saints Nicholas, Valentine and Patrick.

To add insult to injury, these people weren’t permitted to focus solely on statesmen, scientists and entertainers during Black History Month. No, some meddlesome reporter fixated on the vital role of Black churches in the civil rights movement.

Then came their Lenten sacrifices (or listening to other people brag/complain about their Lenten sacrifices), leading up to all that cringe-inducing talk about the crucifixion.

Understandably, numerous worshippers and innocent bystanders are suffering religion fatigue. They’re yearning for a spring and summer of lawnmowing, fishing, barbecuing, home repairing and vacationing.

True, Mother’s Day may inspire memories of mom as a God-fearing woman and Memorial Day has its somber side; but for all intents and purposes, these folks have a six- or seven-month reprieve from religious thoughts.

The fun doesn’t come to a screeching halt until those pesky Pilgrims remind us what ingrates we are and Linus trots out his Nativity speech for the umpteenth time.

(I’m writing this from a Christian perspective, but I’m sure there are Jews, Muslims and members of other faiths who suffer burnout from their own holidays and traditions.)

However you’ve been rationalizing your downtime (recharging your batteries, cleansing your palate, getting back to the Real World), I implore you not to perpetuate the cycle of making spirituality a purely seasonal observance.

Every day is a day the Lord has made, not just the days after Halloween.

From a practical perspective, it’s hard to get back in the saddle after a prolonged absence from thinking about the meaning of life. It’s like schoolchildren. I don’t begrudge them their summer vacation; but unless the kids frequent the library in July or take educational trips, they invariably return to school in the autumn needing to re-learn the math and grammar they supposedly learned in May.

Nature abhors a vacuum, but Satan loves one. Theoretically, you can fill your mind with secular thoughts that are always productive or at least benign; but it’s so much easier to drift toward endeavors that are selfish or self-destructive.

Several prominent Bible figures were praised for their steadfastness. I don’t remember a single account of lackadaisical religious observance having a happy ending.

How do you keep up the momentum after Easter? Regular fellowship with good people is the ideal, but do what you can. Download another “verse of the day” app. Browse the bookstore for thought-provoking Christian apologetics books. Learn from a sacred-minded shut-in. Consider recalibrating your music playlist to contain maybe a couple fewer kick-your-butt-in-a-barroom and get-nekkid-ASAP songs and a couple additional songs of praise and glory.

No, despite what your wishful thinking might whisper to you, God won’t be out for summer. He doesn’t run out on you.

But time does. Use your time wisely, year-round.

Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.