Doctor’s Orders

feet upLast night I woke myself up by hitting my elbow against the bed frame, (In my dreams I was painting a wall and it was a very tricky section). After the wall, I had presents to wrap and a book to write, (note the order of priority – not good). And this was while I was “resting.”

Like many folks, I’ve got two switches: turbo-charged and out-of-order. This is not conducive to long life, marriage or good mental health. So I’ve written myself a prescription:

Dear Mrs Scrivener

It has come to our attention that you are refusing to rest.  This is an unacceptable state of affairs.  Can we remind you of the following:

1. Article four of the ten commandments.  TAKE A DAY OFF.  What makes you think that murder is bad, but this one’s negotiable? What makes you the Duracell Bunny?

2. It’s not a question of pushing through regardless or sleeping when you’re dead, (good on a T-shirt; rubbish as a life philosophy). Rest now – or crash later.

3. Let’s say you do manage to complete The List.  What are you hoping to achieve? World domination?  A sense of peace and acceptance? A sense of REST?

4. Being busy does not make you worthwhile. And it doesn’t keep the scary thoughts at bay either – especially not at 3am. It will take a lot more than some dusting to give you an identity.

5. It might make you feel like you’re serving others – but is that the truth? Do your friends want you – or your spotless surfaces? Have they come over to watch you sweat over a souffle…or have a chinwag on the sofa?

 

Recommended Prescription (charge to Jesus’ account):

1. Rest in the Lord, morning, evening and afternoon. This might be during a walk in the park or two minutes locked in the loo.  Tell Him what’s going on. Remind yourself what He’s like. Allow Him to remind you of His love.

2. Double dose of (your favourite) Scriptures – every time you fancy them.

3. Sweet tea with some friends, (add cake if necessary).

4. Two or three carols. More if required.

5. Deep soak in a tub of thankfulness.  What are the best things that God has given you, even today?  What are the pressies you’ll still be opening from Him in January?

6. A large spoonful of perspective.  The world will not end if you don’t order turkey, write 1000 words or update your status. Read and repeat.

7. Unlimited quantities of the Holy Spirit to make you lie down – and rest in His strength.

 

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat, (Mark 6:31).

11 thoughts on “Doctor’s Orders

  1. Yes, good socks make everything better :-) Tulip’s recommendation sounds like a fine starter, as is Peter Brain’s book, “Going the Distance.” Grabbing just a few moments (locking ourselves in the loo etc) to pray or read a psalm is a big help for me. Also keeping a notebook by my bed and writing worries down then mentally posting them to God. And thinking, in ten years time, will this make a difference?

    We all go through seasons of super busyness – but it’s vital that this is not the norm and if it is, it’s worth looking at our overall lifestyle and making changes (talking to boss about time off, getting to bed earlier, changing patterns of relaxation etc). For me it’s remembering that rest isn’t just collapsing into bed but actively spending time with God’s people and with Him: this is what feeds our soul as well as our limbs! And finally reminding myself of who Jesus is: that He loves me and the government is on His shoulders. Now to take my own advice…!

  2. Ps: Jigsaws. YES. Essential for rest (as long as you don’t get stuck in a boring bit of sky/scenery or one of those tortuous baked-bean ones)

  3. Thanks so much Emma, The right words at just the right time. I need someone to tell me it….again… and again… and again. Constantly tempted to fearful prayerless anxiety: too much on the to do list to know where to start or how to pray.

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