When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? OK, I know, roses don’t have much of their beautiful fragrance anymore. But the idiom is still true. Do you take time to enjoy the moment?
Some ways I have ‘stopped to smell the roses’ lately, might give you some ideas of things you can do.
I go to a women’s gym three times a week. I started to go to do what I can to prevent osteoporosis which is common in my family. But I can become so focused on keeping my heart rate up and working hard, that it feels like hard work and not any fun. That’s when I take a breath and look for ways to enjoy what I’m doing. I start learning a new calisthenic exercise with the group. I pay attention to feeling muscles that I didn’t know I had, stretch and contract. I concentrate on my breathing to just enjoy the inflow of fresh cool air.
When we drive our car, I watch the sky. Recently we saw a very unusual opening in some gray clouds for glorious sun rays to shine through. You’ve seen scenes like that too. Right? Stop and marvel.
A friend likes to take a little stroll in the evening, look the moon or stars, and feel the breeze on her skin. I enjoyed a walk with her recently. I seldom go out after sundown. I will think about doing that more often now.
Since I’ve started sketching, I’m always looking for something that is pretty or unusual to photograph. I keep those lovely pictures, so I have reference photos to sketch later. I enjoy those images over and over again until I’m ready to capture them on paper. Later, I have the original and my rendering to enjoy when I don’t have to be concentrating on something else.
The other thing I have noticed is that it doesn’t take a long time to be refreshed by one of these ‘smelling the roses’ occasions. Often it is paying attention for just a minute or two, yet the effects can last for a long time. I remember them later and let them put a smile on my face again.
When I am falling asleep at night, I let scripture passages I’ve memorized play on my mind. I often get an insight into those verses that I don’t see when I’m focusing closely on learning the words.
Psalm 23:2-3 was one of those recently. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” He makes a place for me to lie down. He doesn’t push me to the ground and tower over me like some big bully. He knows when I need to lie down and urges me as a good shepherd to lie down in green pastures. Still waters may be dressed in a cloak of diamonds with the birds soaring overhead. Like a good sheep, I should stop and enjoy the breeze, watch the clouds, enjoy the company of others who also need to rest. In all of this He restores my soul.
What a treasure it is to our souls when we take the time to enjoy what God has provided for us!