A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

The Challenge When You’re Not A Rose

April 29th, 2005

My roses are blooming. Wanna come see?

I remember my Grandfather saying these words. “My roses are blooming. Wanna come see?” He’d want me to follow and I would. Not because I had a passion for roses. More out of respect for Grandpa. Oh, I liked them ok. But he loved them. He even painted pictures of them. Me, I would lean over and smell them and say they were pretty with as much enthusiasm as a kid could.

Now that I’m (much) older I’m seeing what my Grandfather saw. I’m developing a passion for roses. Not just for the beautiful blooms, but for the entire process of cultivating and tending them. For example, since we don’t have a real winter in Phoenix, roses won’t go dormant on their own. If you want beautiful flowers in the spring, you must force them to take a three month rest. You accomplish this by stripping them of their leaves in January and pruning them back to naked canes. When you finish, if you step back and think you’ve surely killed them then they are probably pruned about right.

In March the rose bushes begin to wake up. They begin leafing out. Roses are big drinkers and big eaters. Ample amounts of water and fertilizer help the buds begin to form and in April they begin to bloom. I have twenty rose bushes in my small backyard. Hybrid tea roses, grandifloras, climbing roses and floribundas. They have delightful names like Rio Samba, Moonshadow, Sheer Bliss, Brigadoon, Midas Touch and Garden Party. Everyday I go out to enjoy the palette of colors and literally stop to smell the roses.

A few days ago I laid my nose on a perfect rose. I closed my eyes and inhaled the intoxicating scent. That’s when I noticed the bloom next to it. It had opened several days earlier and looked nothing like the one I was admiring. Its petals were spread out and displayed a different shade of yellow and pink. Only several days earlier it was a perfect rose.

Looking at the two of them I was reminded of a truth that God reminds us of. Our life, He says, is like the flower of the field. We bloom and then the wind passes over and we fade away. Which is to say our life, even if it’s long, is short. What’s 80, 90 or even 100 years in the span of eternity?

The challenge when you’re not a rose is that you’re slow to see your bloom fading. We tend to think of ourselves as younger than we are until birthdays and class reunions remind us that time is passing quickly. God instructs us to number our days so we’ll make the most of the time He gives us. Given that, it’s good to ask each other questions while the wind of life is blowing over us.

Do your kids know how much you love them? Have you told them specifically how they delight you? That you love to hear them giggle? That you are proud of them? That when you look in on them when they are sleeping you’re so overwhelmed by God’s blessing that it brings tears to your eyes?

Do your co-workers and employees know you as more than the person who gives the orders and checks off the checklists? Are you using your God-given talents and abilities? Are you chasing the American dream at the expense of God’s peace in your life?

Are you living today? Or are you wasting valuable time trying to change the past and/or fret over the future? Are you making a daily difference in the lives of others? What are you doing today that will last forever?

What are you doing while the wind is blowing over? What are you doing before your bloom fades?

My roses are blooming. Wanna come see? Better hurry. They won’t last long.

Summer Fashion Roses

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” – Psalm 103:15-16