Have you ever heard the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses”? It’s a common statement I hear, when life seems to be in Mach 2 gear, and it reminds me of the need to slow down and enjoy the little, yet significant, blessings around us. My husband is so good at this. He can be found quite often, just reflecting on the gifts God has given us that are often overlooked.
All of us can find ourselves so busy, rushing through life, and so focused on what we desire that we miss what we’ve already been given. Haven’t you been there? We can be so driven in our work to reach a goal or promotion, that we can miss the gift of even having a job. We can be longing for a certain relationship, and miss the treasured relationships that already surround us. We are prone to pray, desire, and work hard for blessings and miss the treasures we already have.
Don’t get me wrong. I think we should work hard, have goals, and definitely take our requests to God, but we must remember to be mindful and thank Him for the blessings we already have. The reality is, if He never gave us anything else, we already have far more than we deserve. In the hustle and bustle of life, we have to be intentional to practice gratitude, being alert to the gifts of today. “Stop and smell the roses”, slow down and inhale deeply, feeling your lungs expand. Be quiet and feel your own heartbeat. Look around you and enjoy the vast array of color in the art of creation. Listen to the sounds of the voices of those close to you or the beautiful melody of their laughter. Ponder the vast array of gifts necessary for our survival that we completely take for granted everyday, like the distance our earth is from the sun, which keeps the temperatures on the earth just what they must be for our existence. Do you ever stop to consider the way our earth is tilted? Did you know that its tilt is what gives us our four seasons, and without it, we would have catastrophic events? Were you aware that this tilt, according to scientists, is impossible, because of the mass distribution of water on the earth. Obviously, we have a God, who is engaged in our lives, and He is holding it right where it needs to be, by the word of His power. Do you see how many significant gifts we are given everyday, that we forget or overlook, yet they are vital for our survival?
May we continue to work hard, strive for goals in our lives, and continue to grow into all that God has called us to be, but, as we do, let’s be intentional to be more mindful to take time to relish the gifts already entrusted to us. As I type this, I’m working from the beach this week and soaking up some personal revival. Everyday I’ve stepped outside, I can smell the flowers outside and I am slowing down to breathe it in a little deeper. No matter what you have going on, stop and smell the roses today, and if you have children, invite them to join you, so we’re modeling this exercise of pausing and practicing gratitude!