Stop to Smell the Roses


I was so fortunate to receive roses this Valentine’s Day! I love roses, and was very gracious to have these beautiful, red, soft scented flowers adorning my kitchen for the occasion. Their aroma filled my kitchen for many days. I did everything that I was supposed to do with these flowers. I followed the instructions on the package, to help keep them alive for as long as possible.
We had to go away for a weekend basketball trip, and we were gone for two full days. When I got home, there was a horrible stench in my kitchen. I couldn’t place where it was coming from. Finally, I said aloud, “What is making that horrible smell?” My daughter piped up explaining that the nasty smell was the roses. Sure enough, I bent in to take a big sniff of them and instantly gagged. Oh my! How could something that was so pretty and aromatic turn into such an atrocious sent?
They still looked quite pretty…the petals were drying up a bit, but the white baby’s breath that was mixed in with the roses were still snowy white. To the naked eye, these roses were still beautiful. A bit aged, but still aesthetically pleasing to be displayed in my kitchen.
This is very parallel to many things in life. We all try to put on the facade that everything in our world is great. Rosey, actually! From the outside looking in everything looks great. But the reality is that time has taken its toll on it. It could be your marriage, a friendship, your work, your finances…your life. You are trying to make it all look like roses, but the truth is, it is starting to really stink.
Why? What is it starting to stink? You were doing everything right, and it seems like it is still starting to stink. How come?
Everything has it season, and sometimes it is time to reevaluate and make some changes. Can you change your husband? Can you change your friend? Can you change your staff? The answer to these questions is, no. The only thing you can change is yourself.
When things are new, we appreciate them. Time goes by and we start to take advantage of things. I’m guilty of taking many things for granted. My family, my friends, my work and my finances…my mother…she is the easiest person to take for granted, but probably one of the dearest people in my heart. Why is this? The more we love someone, the more selfish we become? It’s only when something happens that threatens this security that we take the time to reevaluate the circumstance.
Hebrews 13:16 explains to us, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Meaning, make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. It’s really just common sense, but our own selfishness can vanish common sense quite quickly.
Don’t wait for special occasions to show how much people really mean to you. Please, take the time today to stop and smell the roses…show those that you care for how much you truly value them, your relationship and what they do for you. Do something that you used to love doing for your spouse when you first met…or volunteer to give them a back rub, it’s cheap and free, and who doesn’t love a back rub? Try letting your family know how much they really mean to you. Cook them something special for supper, or take them all out to eat and explain why. Surprise a co-worker with a coffee or muffin in the morning to start their day off with a smile.
If you put some energy into showing those people that mean the most to you just how special they really are, your roses will never end up stinky, like mine did! Change yourself to cherish all the important things that you are blessed with in your life. Don’t let time ruin what once was a beautiful thing. Change your way of thinking to realize and value what you have before it is too late. Make the change today and continue showing the people in your life how much you appreciate them. You will be rewarded for your efforts. Try it and see!

~Toby Hale

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