Yes, I know, take time to “smell the flowers” may be a tired cliche, but like most familiar sayings, they are repeated often because they resonate with us, strike a need, a hunger, desire, wish, longing, or experience common to being human. If this is true, then, why does this idea of taking time to “smell the flowers” resonate? What might it mean in our daily walk? Let me suggest a few thoughts . . .
- Don’t take your “walk” too seriously. What I want to encourage you with this idea is, we must take deliberate efforts to enjoy our lives. Yes, there are times when we must get from point A to point B with thrift and vigor. I’ve done enough backpacking where, when you awake in the morning, you know you have to get so many miles in to be on pace to complete your hike ‘”on time”. Life can be like that. Yet . . . Some folks are so obsessively goal oriented, that when they walk, they don’t really enjoy it. They/we miss the beauty of God’s good creation, because we “must” put in so many miles.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. This is related to the above idea, but is more of an internal look at yourself as you walk. Are you kind to yourself? Do you know how to forgive yourself? Are you ever overly occupied with what you think others might be thinking of your walk, especially as you don’t seem to be walking as well as they are? Learning to lighten up a bit on yourself is one way we can “smell the flowers”.
- Be Curious. God has placed so much beauty, both within you (the life of Jesus and the Spirit’s fruit – Gal.5:22ff; Col. 3:1-3) and around you (Psa.19:1), and a holy curiosity of looking for His Life will surprisingly offer many “flowers” to smell along the way.
- Be Still. External and internal “noise” abound. These many “voices” can easily drown out the gentle and humble voice of our Savior. Do you remember the story of one of God’s prophet’s Elijah, in I Kins 19:11ff?. He was profoundly discouraged Elijah. He needed a new touch from God. God did not show up in the powerful wind, the earthquake, or the fire. God came in a gentle whisper. It’s hard to hear a whisper when there’s so much noise. Practice little bites of silence/stillness. At first your ability to be still before God may be small, but over time, this is a skill/discipline you can grow in with the help of God. Be still to smell His flowers.
This is enough for now. Smile, relax. Yes, life can be excruciatingly difficult and painful. There is much loss along the way. Yet life is also incredibly beautiful and rich. But unlike the pain, which is so easy to sense and to feel, like many of you, to enjoy His beauties/Beauty takes more of an effort of grace. May God give us the awareness to not take our walk or ourselves too seriously, to be curious and still, so we can enjoy the beautiful and fragrant bouquets He gives us each day.