It was so quiet you could hear the silence.
This last weekend I was in Queenstown for a family members wedding. It was situated 10 minutes out of the busy tourist town on a farm up above Lake Wakatipu. For the weekend my eyes feasted on snow capped mountains, a beautiful lake disturbed only by an old steam boat chugging across it and gardens of hardy alpine shrubbery.
Then there was the silence. The lack of noise. If you stopped to listen you heard nothing but quiet. No busy motorway, clicking clocks or chiming cellphone.
It was a time and a place to ‘take time and smell the roses’.
Its a funny little saying that encourages us to stop for a moment in our busy world and to take in the beauty that is around us. We are often so busy and focused on the next thing that we neglect to embrace that which is right infront of us.
Do you think that God might ‘take time to smell the roses’?
David writes about God’s embracing love of us in Psalm 139. Just STOP for a moment and listen to the many different ways God wraps his loving attention around you.
God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! Psalm 139:1-18
David discovers God is constantly with him, ‘taking time to smell the rose’s’.
Does that fill you with fear as you reflect on the stinky parts of your life? Do recoil at the thought that God would be interested in you? Does this challenge your views of God that God is not distant and aloof?
Taking time to smell the roses invites us to connect with a creation that was designed by God for us to enjoy.
God, brilliant Lord,
yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords of sheep and cattle,
even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
whales singing in the ocean deeps.
God, brilliant Lord,
your name echoes around the world. Psalm 8
Taking to time to smell the roses brings us back to the centrality of the simple goodness around us.
We pause, shift our focus, smell a creative fragrance, and take in hope.
How do you ‘smell the roses’?
STOP. Just pause for a moment, a minute, an hour, maybe even a day
Smell. Use your senses to take in what is around you. It maybe the flower, examine it thouroughly for five minutes noticing the craftsmanship of beauty. Be silent and listen to the birds singing worship. Eat and drink slowly tasting the various flavours of your food until they become new experiences.
Give thanks. Turn your experiences into prayers of thanks and worship. You may like to write a prayer or sing a song of worship. I am sure God would love to ‘smell the roses’ of your worship.
Repeat. Spend some time each day just stopping, smelling and giving thanks.
Questions to consider and leave a comment.
What benefits do think there would be in ‘smelling roses’?
How do you ‘smell roses’?
What happened in you as you realised that God ‘takes time to smell the roses’ of your life?
Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs via Compfight cc
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