red roses

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As another Valentines Day rolls around I’m considering one’s past and the tradition of it. A sure sign I’m getting old is the fact that I really am beginning to enjoy roses, especially red ones.

When I was younger and heard old people talk about roses and carry on about their beauty, I fixed my eyes on the object of their attention momentarily, then rolled them around my sockets as I thought to myself, “Get a life, that’s so boring, it’s just a rose”!

I held out a long time, longer than most I think until I succumbed to the ways of mature people. These days if I pass a nice red rose, I stop, study it carefully and comment like the older people I use to roll my eyes at.

My little one and me have quite a time admiring red roses and trying to find the perfect petal on each one. “Dad look at this one”! she exclaims. I always add with sincerity, “It’s amazing isn’t it”? “Yeah, it sure is,” she says softly as if seeing one for the first time.

When I was younger I thought of buying roses for my wife as an obligation instead of an honor. Somewhere along the way I  began to enjoy it, not just the beautiful red roses, but the act of selflessness as well. What happened to me? Moreover, what took so long?

What does it take to gain a changed perspective? I guess it could be different for all of us, but for me the change of perspective came from the process of seeking God. It’s easy to be cynical in this life and to move at light speed never taking the time to stop and take a look at the simple things we take for granted.

Those simple things like our loved ones, other people in need and nature, including red roses are the assets given to us by God. I’m curious in hindsight how I ever could have considered going out of my way for someone and inconvenience, especially my loved ones and wife to do something kind that made them feel more than good, to make them feel loved and appreciated.

What else matters?

Yes it’s a fallen world and yes there are bad things that happen in it. The depths to which humans can fall without God seems to be endless. Sure the rose has thorns, but it’s a reminder that despite how beautiful things are or how nice they might look there is a danger of putting too much trust or faith in the object alone. To me, it’s a reminder from God to seek and trust only in Him.

When the objects receive more praise and adoration than the Creator, pain is eminent. It is the balance between spiritual and physical. The simple things like a conversation or a red rose are the gifts from God that bring us together. We enjoy the beauty of them, but it’s the time spent together enjoying them that are the most special.

In the proper Biblical perspective, all things direct us back to God and bring Him honor. I believe the reason many of us enjoy what we consider the simple things in life like a red rose is due to our belief or understanding in the miracle of the beautiful creation.

The red rose reminds me that as fallen as the world is God still produces beauty in it for us to behold. There is beauty in selflessness. We find the acts of sacrifice for others to be lovely.

When we choose to exercise these traits God provides to us, our lives begin to reflect Him.

To my way of thinking these days, I find selflessness, discipline, honor, mercy, grace, and love in the timeless beauty of a red rose.

I’ll take a red rose home with me, I think my wife will too…