Take Time to Smell the Roses
Have you ever heard this saying; “Nature doesn’t hurry, but everything gets accomplished”. Isn’t it nice how that works? No hurry, but yet everything gets accomplished. The bible says; “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every delight under heaven.” Eccl 3, verse 1
We’re a part of nature; Why do we get in such a hurry? Listen to these words from a popular song from not too long ago..
“I’m in a hurry to get things done, I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die, But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”
Isn’t that they way it is so often? We’re always in a hurry. And sometimes, we don’t even know why we’re in a hurry! Hurry up, I’ve got places to go, and things to do, and people to see. That was one of the things that I disliked, about running the repair shop that we had. Everybody was always in such a hurry. Even people on vacation were in a hurry. But there was one guy, who I really appreciated. He was retired, and he traveled full time. And I told him it was going to take a few days to fix his motor home. And he said, that’s OK, I’ve got nowhere to go, and nothing to do when I get there.
That would be nice wouldn’t it? But it’s not always like that. We do have places to go, and we do have things to do. But life shouldn’t be lived, in a hurry.
The bible says; “Do not go out hastily to argue your case..” “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry..” “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily..” “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought..”
You know the old saying, “haste makes waste”? And I’m sure that idea comes from the bible. We’re told in Proverbs 19, verse 2; “..he who hastens with his feet, sins.” We need to slow down a bit. We need to consider God’s word more often. Remember when Jesus told Martha to slow down a bit? He said; “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about so many things. But only a few are necessary, really one!” Luke 10:41-42.
Remember what that one thing is? The one thing that is really the only “necessary” thing? It’s God’s word. You know what the one and only thing is, that you really have do, today or any day? Be a Christian. That’s it, be a faithful Christian. And then everything else will just fall into place.
So then, slow down and smell the roses, and enjoy being a Christian. We need to allow, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding”, (Philippians 4:7) to “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 4, verse 8 says; “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 23, verses 2 & 3 say; “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside waters of rest. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”
It’s much better to slow down, and relax with God, than to get too hasty, without Him.
Too Quick To Speak
Did you ever get a little hasty, and say something that you wish you hadn’t said? It’s pretty hard to take words back, once they’re spoken. It’s like trying to un-ring a bell. The book of James has some wise words for us. In James 1:19 we’re told; “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Proverbs 29, verse 20 gives us these words; “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool, than for him.” Have you ever been hasty in your words? I’m afraid I have. And I’d imagine you have too. Have you ever promised to do something, and then found out, that for some reason, you couldn’t keep your promise? And then you realized that you had been a bit too hasty in what you promised?
We’re supposed to keep our promises. Proverbs 11, verse 3 tells us; “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them.” Integrity is important. Jesus taught about integrity. He tells us not to make any oaths, but to make sure our word is true. He said in Mathew 5:34; “..make no oath at all..” And He said in verse 37; “But let your statement be, Yes for yes, and No for no..”
Our integrity, is important to God. We can’t guard our integrity, by being hasty. We need to slow down, and consider the implications of our actions. Listen to this bit of advice, from Proverbs 20, verse 25; “It is a snare, for a man to rashly, devote something as holy, and to afterward, reconsider his vow.”
Now let me explain that verse a little bit. The phrase, “devote something as holy” is a reference to making a promise or a vow. That’s why the later part of the verse speaks of “reconsidering his vow”. The meaning of “devote as holy”, is to openly avow the sacredness of your words. In other words, it means to assure that your words are true. And that’s exactly what we do when we make a vow, or a promise. We are assuring someone, that they can trust our words.
So then, it’s a snare, and a trap, for us to rashly make a promise. Of course the word “rashly” means hastily”. If we do something rashly, we fail to consider the consequences. Maybe we can’t fulfill the promise, or the guarantee that we’re making. We would be much wiser to stop and think a bit more. Don’t be so hasty. Slow down, plan what you’re going to say, and uphold your integrity.
Walk Don’t Run
In Proverbs chapter 6, we’re told of seven things, which are an abomination to the Lord, and it says in verse 18, that one of those things, are “feet that run rapidly to evil.” Sometimes you can end up “running to evil”, simply because you didn’t take the time to stop and think about what you might be getting yourself into. Did you ever get involved in something, and then later on, wished you hadn’t?
Did you ever get in credit card debt, because you were too hasty in buying things? You needed to do a little better planning, before buying. But we see things that we want, and we get hasty. That’s real life isn’t it?
Proverbs 21, verse 5 tells us; “The plans of the diligent, surely lead to plenty. But everyone who is hasty, surely is led to poverty.” You know what happens to your money when you don’t plan? It disappears, that’s what happens! Why is it that people can’t stay on a budget? Because they’re too hasty in spending. There’s so much we want, and we’re never satisfied.
The bible says; “He who loves money, will not be satisfied with money; Nor he who loves abundance, with income.” Ecclesiastes 5, verse 10. Money buys “things”. And we think we’re going to be satisfied with “things”, so we get in a big hurry to get them. But then you’re not satisfied anyway. The bible says, if you just slow down and plan, you’ll actually end up with plenty. But if you keep being hasty, it’ll only lead to poverty. The bible is full of “life lessons”, isn’t it?
Planning leads to plenty, and haste leads to poverty and waste. You can love money, but you’ll never be satisfied with it. And you can love an abundance, but yet when more comes your way, you still won’t be satisfied. You know why none of us will ever be satisfied with “abundance”? It’s because, “..For not even when one has an abundance, does his life CONSIST of his possessions.” Luke 12:15. A “life lesson” from Jesus.
What DOES your Life Consist of?
Someone might say; My life consists of my possessions.. My life consists of a lot of things. It consists of me, and my family, and my job, my hobbies, and my possessions. These are the things that make up my life. But that’s not true. All those things, are simply the things that you “fill” your life with, but they’re not your life.
Let me tell you what that verse really means. The phrase “consists of” is a bit misleading. The word “consist” isn’t even in the original text. What the verse actually says, is.. “your life is not OF your possessions. The meaning is.. your life doesn’t come forth, from your possessions!
Where does your life come forth from? Your life is your very existence, it’s your soul. And your life comes forth from God! We’re told in Luke 17, verse 28; “For in Him (in God) we live, and move, and exist..” And we learn from Job 1:21; “..The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
And just as the Lord gave you your life, He can take it away. You life is not OF the things you possess. Your life is not OF, the things that you fill your life with. Your life is OF God! And do you know what God wants you to do with your life? Well, He doesn’t want you to rush and rush until life’s no fun. And not even know why you’re rushing around! He wants you to slow down. He wants you to stop and smell the roses.
God has given us a lot of roses, if we’d only slow down, and even stop, and appreciate them. Have you ever experienced anything good in life? If you have, just think of it as a “rose from God”. James 1:17 tells us; “Every good thing bestowed, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variance, or shadow of turning.”
We’ve got to slow down, to appreciate everything God does for us. Let me remind you of a couple of analogies that the bible makes. Psalm 141, verse 2 says; “May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee.” And Acts 10, verse 4 says; “Your prayers AND alms, have ascended as a memorial before God.” Do you know what “alms” are? “Alms”, means.. “mercy, charity, and giving”. Alms can be the giving of a monetary gift, or the doing of a good deed. But either way, it ascends up to God as incense, and as a memorial to God. In other words, He’ll savor your sacrifice, and He’ll remember you for it.
It’s as if you’ve sent a rose, to God, so that He can enjoy the aroma. Listen to what the bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:14 & 15; “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through US, the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him, in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ, to God, among those who are being saved, and among those who are perishing..”
If what we do for God, can be a sweet aroma to Him, then shouldn’t His gifts to us be equally fragrant? Every time we receive a gift from God, it’s like He sends us a rose, so we can enjoy the beauty and fragrance. Think about that, every time you eat a meal (or even a snack) and every time you put on your clothes, and when you enjoy your home, and your family, and when you get in your car, and when you go to your job, and when you receive your pay, and when you assemble for worship, and when you take the Lord’s supper. Think of all the roses that God has given to you. And slow down, and take the time, to enjoy the fragrance of God.
A Time For Everything
Consider the time that God has allotted us. Ecclesiastes 3, verse 1 tells us; “There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven.” Verse 11 says; “He has made everything beautiful in it’s own time..”
You know what it’s time for right now? 2 Corinthians 6, verse 2 says; “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation.”
If you haven’t become a Christian, by believing in Jesus Christ, and confessing His name, and repenting of your sins, and by being baptized for the forgiveness of those sins, then today is the day, and now is the acceptable time.