Posts Tagged ‘noble tiredness’

I wonder how you fared in finding the refreshment you needed over the Christmas break. Perhaps you had a great holiday with family or managed to find some time on your own where you could replenish your resources. We are all different—what works for one might not work for another. While one person recovers best by staying at home, another prefers to get right away from things.

Somehow I suspect I might have missed out on that window of opportunity to be refreshed as much as needed in the past month. So here I am in February, trying to grab what days I can to relax a little. My family would no doubt say I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘relax’, however! Many times when we are having a birthday celebration here, I am told off for hopping up from the table for this and that. As for watching TV without doing anything else, recently when I was doing just that and pointed out this remarkable fact to my husband, he told me he could hardly believe his eyes!

It is a trap at times for those of us who work from home to keep on working when we should stop for a while. My computer is always waiting here on my desk, ready for whenever I want to write another blog or begin work on my next book or prepare for a speaking engagement or answer a few emails. And I enjoy all these activities, so they can’t really be classed as work—can they? At times such tasks can be frustrating, but mostly I find that pull back into my study to write is like an invisible thread, enticing me towards that next wonderful writing idea or that interesting email I absolutely have to respond to straight away!

Yet we all need time away from our work, however enjoyable it is, to recharge our batteries and gain a more rounded perspective on things. Years ago, I discovered Michael Leunig’s whimsical, little book, The Curly Pyjama Letters. The letter that spoke to me most at that point was one written by Mr Curly to Vasco Pyjama on the topic of rest. In the final paragraph, he urges Vasco to feel his ‘noble tiredness’ and repeats his belief that ‘it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.’ Vasco maintains the world is ‘dying of restlessness’ and urges his friend not to give in to this. His words ring very true to me. How about you?

Then last week, I was sent some even more pertinent, life-giving words. After I had complained I was feeling a little tired, a friend emailed me Proverbs 11:25:

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Now I’m sure this includes female writers and speakers as well! And I hope and pray others were indeed refreshed in the past year through my first non-fiction book Soul Friend in particular but also through my times of speaking. I hope, by God’s grace, that hearts were touched and spirits renewed.

So I’m off to relax now, to rest in God’s grace myself, comforted in the knowledge that God will refresh and renew, ready for all that lies ahead. And if you are feeling a little like me, may you too put aside your ‘restlessness’ and find all the refreshment you need in God.

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I am sure many of you, like me, have had a very big 2010. Perhaps, like me also, you look back at times with a kind of surreal feeling and wonder how you did it all. I think at this stage of the year we can all be excused for ‘feeling our noble tiredness’, as Michael Leunig once put it.

But this is also the time of the year, I often find, when I can tend to feel a little ‘blue’, wondering if all my speaking and writing efforts have made much difference in this world. This is warped thinking, I know. I have some lovely email and Facebook messages from readers who tell me how much they have valued my books – and it was only a few days ago after speaking somewhere that several people told me how much God had challenged and encouraged them through what I said. These comments set my heart and mind and rest and inspire me to keep going. But nothing speaks peace and encouragement into my heart more than God’s word itself, which has a unique way of putting everything in perspective, I find.

Take Isaiah 26, for example. Three things in particular here impacted this week. Firstly, verse 3 reminded me I need to keep trusting steadfastly in God if I am to remain at peace as I look back over the past year:

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

What a good antidote that is to the warped thinking of a tired brain! It is also a death knell to the distortions and accusations the enemy delights to throw at us when we are weary. As I choose to remain faithful, my mind focused on God, then I can be at peace, whatever has happened or will happen.

Secondly, verse 8 reminded me why I have put all this effort into speaking and writing this past year. It has been for God’s glory and not my own – ultimately, it’s not about what I have achieved or not achieved or how well people think of me. It’s not about me, full stop – it’s about God.

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.

So I can be at rest and at peace, as I take my eyes off myself and instead concern myself with bringing honour to God, waiting for him to show me how that can best be done.

And finally, verse 12 put all my efforts of the past year into very clear perspective. Yes, I might have worked hard, preparing talks, writing and editing my novels, liaising with people and travelling here and there to speak. But behind and in and through all that, God was at work.

Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

So again, it’s all about God and not about me. Yes, I needed to be willing to serve God and use my gifts, but God is the one who gave me the gifts; God is the one who called me; God is the one who empowered me; and God is ultimately responsible for what has or has not been accomplished.

I think I like God’s perspective, don’t you? So right now, I’m choosing to remain steadfast, to put God’s renown first and foremost and to remember who has enabled me to accomplish what I have this year.

And that, I believe, is how true peace comes.

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