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Stopping to Smell the Roses

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Have you ever taken a walk with small children, out in nature? They like to stop and look at the bugs that cross their path or chase a frog, bunny or squirrel that might scurry by. Every sound can cause the same question, “What’s that?” And if they were like my children were, rocks, leaves, and twigs had to be picked up and played with. My husband is big on nature and while walking he likes to point out the different animal tracks or show the kids the fish and turtles in the ponds which always caused wide-eyed amazement. Even now when I go walking with my youngest, who is almost an adult, she likes to stop and examine things that have met an untimely demise (yes, I say yuck, but smile at her curiosity).

Unfortunately, the older we get the excitement and wonder of simple things in creation gradually wears off and we forget to stop and smell the roses. We hurry from point A to point B. Walks are more for exercise than to enjoy the nature around us. When the sounds of birds, crickets and frogs become another dull hum and the bunny or squirrel that scurries by doesn’t faze us, I believe we have lost something precious that God gave us.

Professor Clyde Kelby taught that, one way to maintain mental health is to quit focusing on ourselves and maintain a wonder for nature, taking time daily to enjoy trees, flowers, clouds, and people around us… joyfully acknowledging God’s creation.

There are three things we can enjoy when we step out into nature and take a walk.

1. God’s divine nature- Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power”

- Look at the trees through each season. Watch flowers bloom, and then the grass die in the fall. Watch the different animal behaviors around you. The sun rises and sets, the moon and stars come out at night. It can only be by the design of God that everything does what it’s supposed to each year. No excuses when you let God in.

2. We can enjoy God’s wisdom- Psalm 104:24 “O Lord, how manifold are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions”

- I certainly can’t figure out flowers. Love to plant them but I don’t know what will work best for them, I have to plant them and trust God to help them grow. I’ve raised chickens for over 10 years and still can’t figure out their actions and how they know what to do, but God does and I get to enjoy them. We don’t have to understand how creation works we just can sit back and enjoy what God has given us and be glad He has the wisdom to know it all.

3. We enjoy His unfailing love- Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.”

- I’ve told my children I will get upset and frustrated with them at times. I won’t always like the choices they make and we will fight and argue every so often but the one thing they can always be sure of, no matter what, I will always love them and they can’t stop that. As we watch year after year, day by day we will see the seasons always change. There will be spring and rain, summer and heat, fall and change, winter and snow. Nature has shown us that God never fails; He is as true now as at creation. If God is true to nature, then we can always be assured His love for us is just as unfailing.

I might not stop and smell the roses, but I still enjoy our family walks or taking our dog out for a walk. I still try to listen for God’s voice while outside, I enjoy the sounds and I still look for the pretty flowers, tall trees, and on occasion, because of where I live, I try to spot some deer. My kids aren’t little, and we don’t stop for every bug or sound now, but I hope I can still teach them to enjoy the nature around them and to always thank God for creation.

If you can try to find time, try to get out on the sunny warm days and relish in the awesome works of God, stopping to smell the roses. Have a blessed day!

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