“Our treasures are many…they just walk around in human form.”
In these lean economic times, circumstances force us to simplify. We reduce our spending and weed out extravagances. In the process, we search for meaning. What is truly important? We muse.
Fear of financial security permeates the media. Talk among co-workers riddles with ways to cut back in order to adjust to pay cuts. For those of us who got a late start on retirement saving due to hard times, divorce, or single parenting, the future feels scary and uncertain. Will I ever be able to retire? We fret. How much will I need? What will my lifestyle be like? I don’t want to die in poverty and obscurity.
Ice and roses…both beautiful and yet perishable. The difference is in their meaning. I liken the first to carving a unique identity while upon this earth. I’ve got a sharp knife, determination, and a block of ice, resources. I work hard at fashioning just the right sculpture of who I want to be, what I want to accomplish, and how I will acquire financial security. But ice sculptures only display their beauty for a brief time. Inevitably they melt when we go to met our Maker.
In contrast, roses remind me to cultivate loving others and investing my time, talents, and money in those purposes that will eternally endure. When we cultivate roses, our love blooms and people breathe in the fragrance of faith and trust in God’s care. We choose patience when frustrated, time spent with children when tasks tug at our skirt, and the investment of money in life-changing opportunities instead of hoarding for ourselves.
Although I occasional entertain thoughts of going from harried middle school literacy teacher to international author, I always return to the homespun country girl I was. Even the fantasies that tantalize when work gets tough cannot take country values out of my heart.
My nephew’s recent wedding reminded me of my roots that grow roses. I found myself surrounded by down home people whose joys in life include laughs and stories around backyard BBQ pits.
The best man’s speech made me stop and ponder what is important. “75% of all my good memories happened with this family.” Damon expressed what so many of us were thinking; my brother and sister-in-law have always created a warm and inviting atmosphere for people to gather and enjoy one another’s company.
Other groomsmen who toasted Jacob and DeLaney shared similar stories of sliding down the backyard mountain behind Frank and Sue’s home. They reminisced about their childhood, playing outside in the surrounding fields and enjoying the comfort that being with family brings.
Yes, my brother and sister-in-law have always opened their hearts and home to family and friends. They put their time and energy into growing roses.
People laugh, dance, and sing at their events. No one seems to worry about the next week of work or whether they’ll be rich or famous. Just being together satisfies the human longing for identity.
Orchids and roses, the bride’s favorite flowers, fit the occasion perfectly. You could enjoy the elegance of the surroundings yet feel the love of friends and family gathered together.
This wonderful occasion reminded me that the only eternal redemption I’ll glean from living will be from God’s grace; His love that touches me and others through the growing and giving of roses. I don’t want to miss this by “trying to be” instead of “living to love.”
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