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Monday, May 4, 2015

Stop And Be The Roses.

You've heard the saying, "Stop and smell the roses." Life is certainly far too busy. I can't remember a time when I had things caught up, and didn't have anything to do.  You probably can't either.  Life moves at a breakneck pace and, it seems, something is always being left undone. But the busy pace of our lives is causing us, and others, to suffer. Perhaps it's time to 'stop and be the roses.' This may not make much sense without an explanation so I'll do my best to help you understand my statement.

As a father, husband, son, friend, pastor, the overseer of a dozen of ministries and as a community leader, there is always someone needing more of my time. As a homeowner with a large yard, the owner of more than one vehicle, and the caretaker of three family pets, among other responsibilities, there is always something that needs to be done. Some of these things are far more urgent than others, but they all demand attention.  You lead a similar life.

Today, in the church office, I was looking at my schedule and decided to go the 'easy' route. I didn't have any appointments, and its only Monday so my message prep could wait just a day or two. Yet numerous things are waiting on me to complete them, so as I looked at what I needed to do most, I decided to call some of the members who are unable to be in church because of age, or sickness. The response I got was so rewarding.

I didn't call for my own benefit, I didn't even see anyway it would really add to my day. I just called to check on them. My phone call was simply to let those home-bound members know we care about them, and to see if they needed anything from me or the church family. Yet my efforts were met with such an enthusiastic appreciation that I was unexpectedly blessed in a tremendous way. That's what I mean by 'stop and be the roses.'

Jesus often did things just because one person would receive a blessing from it. While on the way to Bethany, to raise Lazarus from the dead, He made an out of the way stop in Samaria just  to meet the woman at the well. Jesus knelt in the sand to write, on another occasion, and turned away a group of accusers of the woman who was taken in the act of adultery. Then He told her to go and sin no more.  I believe that Jesus made a special trip past the Pool of Bethesda, especially for the man who had been lame 38 years.

It's very difficult to slow down, and even stop for others in need or for those who are lonely, but it's worth it.  I said earlier that the busy pace of our lives is causing us to suffer, and even others to suffer. We suffer by not having that one on one interaction with that person, whoever it may be, who possibly cannot even do anything for us. We suffer, in that our busy lives cause us to miss that blessing of giving of ourselves and our time.  We miss out on that reward of having reached out in genuine concern, and that offering being wholeheartedly accepted by someone who perhaps has no one else checking on them at the time.  They suffer because we are ignoring their plight and they feel alone in their difficulty.

We need to stop and BE the roses to someone.  Go out of your way to call, text, or better yet visit, someone who is elderly, sick, or lonely.  Check on someone who is battling depression, addictions, or uncertainty.  Your compassion will go a long way toward helping them feel loved, and perhaps to find peace. It will also go a long way toward bringing more joy into your life. If you are too busy to check on someone who is in need, you are just too busy.  Slow down.  Stop and be the roses.