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Brought to bear

Pooh aims to save the day, writes Andrew Stone

He has forgotten how to enjoy himself

WHEN Christopher Robin was leaving the Hundred Acre Wood to go to boarding school, he told his best friend: ‘I won’t ever forget you, Pooh, I promise, not even when I’m 100.’ But that schoolboy promise to Winnie-the-Pooh was broken as the worries of grown-up life consumed him. In Christopher Robin, which opened in cinemas yesterday (Friday 17 August), he has all but forgotten about his childhood adventures with his stuffed-animal friends.

In postwar London, Christopher (Ewan McGregor) is married with a daughter, but family life is playing second fiddle to his job as an efficiency manager at Winslow Luggage. Life’s seriousness means he has forgotten how to enjoy himself. Workaholic Christopher has to forfeit a family weekend away to address the struggling company’s financial problems.

But as the businessman wrestles with the demands of family and workplace, he encounters the ‘silly old bear’ from his childhood. Pooh needs Christopher’s help to find Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and all his other companions. A return to the Hundred Acre Wood eventually has the old friends happily reunited, and Christopher remembers the joy of his childhood.

But playtime can’t last for ever. The realities of grown-up life call Christopher back to London. He needs to save the luggage company. Pooh encourages the other toy animals to join him in following their friend back to London, telling them: ‘Christopher Robin always comes to save us. Now it’s our turn to save him.

A collection of exuberant talking toys cause a stir in the capital city, and things don’t go exactly the way the animals expect. It is almost too much for the melancholy Eeyore and the angst-ridden Piglet, but they are encouraged by the outgoing and self-assured Tigger.

On one occasion, as the toys are being dragged round the streets of London in a trunk tied to the back of a speeding lorry, the bouncy tiger tells his friends: ‘You worry too much. Don’t worry, this is part of the plan. We just need a leap of faith.’

Sometimes in grown-up life it can be difficult not to worry. We may face concerns over our work, have to deal with relationship breakdowns or make tough decisions about finances or health. When life plays up, it can seem impossible to enjoy ourselves.

But some people have discovered that if they are willing to take a leap of faith, difficult situations can improve. They have found help for the toughest of problems by putting their faith in God.

One Bible writer who did just that described God as ‘our shelter and our strength’, adding ‘when troubles seem near, God is nearer, and he’s ready to help’ (Psalm 46:1 The Voice).

God’s offer of support is available to each of us. If we decide to put our trust in him and follow his guidance, then he will help us.

We don’t have to face difficulties alone and lose our enjoyment of life. God is near and ready to help us bear whatever problems may come.

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