Smell the Roses

Have you taken time lately to stop and smell the roses? Our world seems to be spinning faster and faster and there really and truly is so much beauty to experience if we would only slow down and perhaps look up from the rocky path we’re on, or maybe take a minute from looking down at our phones.

I can still remember the very first time I took my son outside for a walk in his new little rubber boots. He was only a little over a year old at the time and a bird flew in front of us. He gasped and his face lit up as he saw a bird flying for the very first time. The awe and wonder on his face was so precious and I had to ask myself if I had somewhere along the way lost some of that awe and wonder. Had the thing that took his breath away become so commonplace and mundane that I no longer stopped to let it move me as well?

Our awesome God and creator made us and placed us in a garden. Before there was traffic and noise, before there were deadlines and meetings, his desire was for us to be with Him, talking and walking with him, breathing in the fresh air, walking amongst the trees and listening to the sounds of his creation and marveling at the beauty around us.

When Jesus walked on this earth many times he would leave the crowds to go and be with his Father where it was peaceful and quiet. In fact, in Mark 1:35 it says “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Perhaps the place he retreated to looked a lot like a garden, maybe not, but he had to make a conscious choice to leave the busyness behind him and find a place of peace and solitude.

One thing we have convinced ourselves of is that we don’t have enough time to stop and smell the roses, let alone spend a chunk of precious time with God. The time and energy and focus we give to something or someone is a gift. Our perfect Father knew just what we would need and generously gave us 24 hours each day. It  wasn’t random, it was the exact amount that we would need. So, I want to encourage you with some truth. You have enough time to spend with your children, with your spouse and most importantly with God and it is to these precious ones that we should be giving the gift of our time … and we also have time to take even a second and appreciate the world around us and to smell the roses. We have just let too many other things crowd out the precious time we need to give to the things that are the most important.

Perhaps you don’t feel like you’re living in a garden, perhaps it feels more like a zoo, but if we stop and listen just for a moment we might hear something we really need to hear, if we stop and look a little closer, we might catch a glimpse of something we wouldn’t want to miss, and if we hug just a little longer we may experience healing. Those little deposits that we make will hugely impact our relationships with our family, our loved ones and our heavenly Father.

So, I want to encourage you today to carve out time to spend with God and ask him to help you to look up and listen and take notice. There is a song by Amanda Cook called “Wonder” and it goes, “May we never lose our Wonder. Wide eyed and mystified may we be just like a child staring at the beauty of our King. That is my prayer for you today. May you always be in awe and wonder of our beautiful creator and King and all that he has given you and all that he has surrounded you with.

In Psalm 46:10 it says “Be still and know that I am God”.  In other words, slow down and you will find me and begin to experience me in ways you’ve never imagined before!