Archive for June, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses

Image Riding down I-84 more commonly known as the Columbia River Highway I take in the beauty of the Columbia River that snakes its way through Oregon.  And then a pack of cars and a semi blow past me interrupting the peace and tranquility one gets when watching a river flow.  My mind starts wondering where some of these people are headed and if they ever take the time to look at the beauty around them.  

I’ve spent many mornings on this trip watching a sunrise while it spreads its hues of pinks and oranges over the countryside.  How many times before this trip have I missed this daily miracle?  Too many to account for I’m sorry to say.  I ponder how much it must hurt God when He sees how much we miss in life.  We allow our jobs, our children, our pets, and our hobbies to control our very essence.  

I decide to stop for a while to take in the beauty of this grand river.  As I sit by the edge of the river eating my PB&J sandwich I think back on the towns I’ve been through, the people I’ve met, and the things I’ve learned.  The Columbia River Gorge is breathtaking and I’ve hit it at a good time of the year when many waterfalls are flowing and the wild flowers are blooming.  Life is truly good. 

I started this trip with the quest of being able to brag that I rode through every state in the United States and to maybe lose some weight.  How selfish of me to take a trip for such shallow reasons, but God, in His infamous wisdom, has shown me the way.  God is in every sunrise, every meadow of wild flowers, every town, every person, every road I’ve been on while trekking through this great country.  He has drawn me closer to Him than I ever thought I could be. 

A chill rushes through me awakening me and prompting me to get back on my bike and head into The Dalles which is just a few miles away.  I know that I’ll be taking some tours through this fine town and will be meeting some wonderful people.  I stop for just a moment to pray that I always remember to stop and smell the roses. 

And in my real world stopping and smelling the roses is a hard thing to do.  It’s easy to write about doing this on my virtual biking trip, but putting it into practice in the real world is another story.  I find myself getting bogged down with work, with responsibilities of caring for my elderly mother and my pets, of maintaining the house and yard, and trying to finish all those craft projects that I had obsessively purchased these past several years.  Some days the weight of all of these things feels like they are crushing me; pushing the very life out of me.  My life is no different than any other human being, but yet I know that my life is certainly easier than many. 

Working for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado I see on a daily basis the number of people and families whose lives are weighed down much more than mine.  They would love to be able to have the responsibility of maintaining a house and yard, to have a job, to have the resources to care for not only their children, but their parents.  It’s with these thoughts that I realize that by just appreciating that I still have my mother with me, have a fine roof over my head and a yard to tend to, have a job, have pets who are healthy and give so much joy to me, and that I’m still able to afford a hobby and have the ability to continue to work on these hobbies are my bed or roses just waiting for me to stop and smell them.  

Our beds of roses are not always going to be a beautiful sunrise on Pikes Peak or a crystal clear mountain lake’s reflection.  Our beds of roses are every facet of our lives both the good and the bad.  God wants us to appreciate everything we have and do so let’s all learn to take the time to stop and smell those roses.  And may we continue to go the distance.


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