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Posts Tagged ‘Vasco Pyjama’

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 have to admit I’m quite a fan of Michael Leunig’s writings.  To my mind, he has a quirky gift of getting to the heart of issues and showing the absurdity of some of our ways of thinking and acting.  I particularly love his observation, via the pen of Mr Curly to Vasco Pyjama in ‘The Curly-Pyjama Letters’, about rest – or the lack of it:

It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause, you must rest, Vasco – otherwise you will become RESTLESS! I believe the world is sick with exhaustion and dying of restlessness.

Here Leunig highlights for us the real meaning of this word ‘restless’, which is literally to be ‘without rest’.  How often is it, however, that when we feel restless, we look for new things to do or new places to visit, thinking this will satisfy us?  Of course this may – for a while.  But usually we soon tire of these new experiences and again the old restlessness creeps up on us.  Perhaps, as Leunig suggests, we need to do nothing for a while other than rest – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I know that for me to write and work well, I need to be at my most rested.  Yes, eight hours sleep at night helps, but I mean more than that.  I know I need to be quiet right down deep inside me, to be aware that God is there in me, beside me, all around me, holding me and loving me.  I need to still that clamour inside me that reminds me of how much I have to do, of how what I have done could be so much improved, of how inferior my writing is when compared with others’.  In other words, I need the true rest that only God can give me, the rest Jesus was talking about when he said these words:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  (Matthew 11:28-29)

Now that, to my mind, is true rest – the sort that will never be disturbed or stolen or found to be inadequate.  With that real ‘soul rest’, I know I can face the world, ready to handle whatever comes my way.

How are you feeling right now?  ‘Rested’ – or ‘restless’?

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