Stopping to smell the flowers

‘I wonder whether you’ve stopped to smell the flowers recently?’

That was the question the women’s worker at my last church used to ask me when I was a staff member. What she meant by it was, have you slowed down and done something that helps youflowers reflect on Jesus and treasure Him?

It is so easy to be busy rushing around, working hard, looking after your family, getting jobs done, even doing ministry, and never take a moment to stop and treasure Jesus.
There was an old Disney short about a bull called Ferdinand (1938), who used to just love to sit and smell the flowers. Ferdinand was supposed to be a fighting-bull, but instead he did something so un-bull-like, he spent time under his favourite tree happily smelling the flowers.

Taking a moment to stop and find enjoyment in something that lifts your eyes to Jesus may feel as unnatural to you as a fighting-bull smelling flowers, but I am glad my women’s worker asked me that question because I think it’s so important. To the question ‘What is the chief end of man?’, the Westminster Shorter Catechism answers: ‘To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.’ This is what we made for, and what we have been saved for. It might not come naturally to stop to enjoy God and perhaps we feel we’re too busy, but I think we can all grab moments here and there to pause, reflect and find refreshment in the Gospel.

‘Stopping to smell the flowers’ will look different for all of us. Maybe it’s reading a Christian book before bed with your spouse. Maybe it’s doing baking or colouring with your kids to help you enjoy God’s good gifts. Maybe going for a quiet walk in the park to reflect upon what God has been teaching you. Or perhaps meeting up with a friend from church to catch up and pray together. Looking at the stars at night, listening to hymns in the morning, keeping a diary of prayers, going through notes on past sermons, doing a spot of gardening... Anything that helps you behold God’s glory. Anything that helps you thank God for His kindness. Anything that refreshes your soul. Anything that helps you treasure Jesus.

So, let me ask you: ‘Have you stopped to ‘smell the flowers’ recently?’

Rebekah Tubbs (Ministry Assistant for Youth and Families) 20-10-17

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