From Greg Twombley, Director of Ministries & Praise Team Leader …
Not to date myself, but I do remember the song by the 1970’s poet Mac Davis, who said “Where you going in such a hurry? Don’t you think it’s time you realized there’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry? The sweetest things in life are free, and right there before your eyes: you got to stop and smell the roses, you’ve got to count your many blessings every day, you’re gonna find your way to Heaven is a rough and rocky road if you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way.”
Some days ago, a few of us St. Andrew musicians had the privilege of playing music for a grieving family as they mourned the loss of their young sister, daughter, niece and friend. The younger “big” brother went up to the microphone and spoke lovingly about his older sister. She was the life of the party, the one who looked after everyone else, the one who loved unconditionally, and the one who stopped to smell the roses.
This got me pondering about the implications of taking the time to smell the roses, perhaps to tell someone you haven’t spoken with in a while that you care, to hold the door for strangers and to ask how their day is going, to perform a random act of kindness for someone you know, to allow the lane cutter in traffic free passage with a prayer and not anger.
The Teacher speaking in Ecclesiastes says that all actions of man are hevel, or vapor, and are perhaps not substantial. Though there may be another way to look at this: perhaps as our actions might be vapor, the vapor caused by us might simply spread to its farthest limits and touch the most people, those we’ve never met or seen. I did not know this young lady that passed from her earthly life at a young age, though I can feel the vapor, the presence, she left behind in the love and words of her family as she took the time to let others know she cared for them and that her heart was filled with love for others.
And what of the roses we’re supposed to stop and smell? The Song of Solomon speaks of the Rose of Sharon. The New Testament doesn’t call Jesus the Rose of Sharon, though how many times have we heard Jesus referred to symbolically as the Rose of Sharon? Sharon is a large valley-plain, fertile with many flowers, and known for its beauty and majesty, and the rose is the most perfect of all flowers, and often used in its giving as a symbol of love. Jesus is the rose from God from His most treasured plain of beauty; perfect in every way and always faithful in His love without end. We often speak of taking Jesus into ourselves, just as we smell and inhale the beautiful fragrance of the rose. The vapor is rejuvenating to our souls.
In the words of Paul to the Thessalonians, we do not know when the day of the Lord will come, though it will surely come and it will come as a thief in the night. Rather than being meaningless vapor, God gives us the opportunity to be valuable in His kingdom, to be His servants, His laborers, showing His love for others; and all this through taking in the life-changing fragrance of Jesus, the smelling of the rose that is He who first loved us. So, take the time to smell the Rose, to take in the fragrance of God’s love, to count your many blessings every day.