Rose of Sharon

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Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous flowering shrub with large blossoms of various colors. These exotic looking shrubs can be found all over the world, and produce flowers from Spring to Autumn. They are a hardy plant and require little to no maintenance.

 Symbolically, in The Song of Solomon, Jesus is referred to as the Rose of Sharon. Sharon was a lush plain in Palestine at that time. The rose is considered by many to be the most perfect of all flowers. Since Christ is the only perfect man to walk upon planet Earth, the use of the rose in describing Him seems fitting. However, rather than Jesus (as the bridegroom) giving His people (the church) roses as a man would offer his beloved, He became the gift as well as the giver through His sacrifice.

 Hence, when I look upon our shrub producing a plethora of blooming roses throughout the warm Summer months, I smile and think of Him. Christ’s love and mercies-which are new every morning-refresh my occasional weary soul and remind me that life is a gift to be enjoyed daily. Just as hope springs eternal with each bloom, so His love endures forever. I hope you experience the Rose, and in doing so find peace and contentment.

 

 

T O S A V O R

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To savor is to enjoy the moment, the event or season of life to the fullest extent possible. To savor can be something as simple as sharing a favorite cup of coffee with your closest friend, to experiencing the birth of a child or looking back at a year in which everything in life held the greatest significance and most contentment.

To savor a moment is like pausing time, stepping back a few paces, and observing in your mind what an incredible thing is taking place right then and there. You are cognizant of what is happening, but are savvy enough to not mess it up…it is just being. All else is pushed aside-at least for a focused episode of time- and nothing matters but what is occurring. Moments such as these are to be cherished.

As events go, you could be at a party, a prayer meeting, a family gathering, a football game, a concert or most anything which can transport your mind and emotions to a higher plain than everyday living. Events are for a relatively short period of time, as are moments. I don’t know if an event or a moment makes a greater impact than the other, but it doesn’t really matter as long as there is a positive outcome and a pleasant memory. Special events are like time-released capsules of pleasure.

Seasons of life-now those are another subject unto themselves. Whereas moments and events are for brief periods of time and are readily known, a blessed season of one’s life can last a summer or a decade, and the full impact unravels slowly until you are fully aware of how amazing such a time was. This is not to say that a moment can’t affect you for the rest of your life; far from that. I have had several moments where I still feel the fulfilling effect of that occurrence. However, seasons hold a special place in one’s life because of their longevity. As we are all aware, this life is relatively short. If we can benefit from a longer place of inner satisfaction then so much the better. How very blessed are those who are privileged to experience a savory season in life.2-24-13dAs I gaze upon my furry companion, Carson, I see the contentment he is experiencing while resting. He has no fear and makes himself vulnerable. He knows no pain while he rests. I see peace and I see renewal…something most of us don’t experience nearly enough. Carson represents a sort of savor that is limited to those who slow down enough to be in the present without distractions. His savor seems too easy…too unfair. Cheryl and I sometimes state that it would be great to be Carson for a while (as long as we were his guardians!). Can you relate? The adage, “It’s a dog’s life”, was built around a beloved pet who has not a care in the world. This lacking for nothing while experiencing the utmost of most anything pleasant is similar to children who are born into fine families and raised in loving environments. No worries, at least not until they grow up.

So, how do we, as humans beings, become more at ease with ourselves, and more at peace with our world? How do we savor?

I realize clearly that this question applies to only a minority of our worlds’ population. There are well over two billion people who are living in extreme poverty and millions more who know no peace or good health or love. For these, the question about savoring a piece of life is a foreign concept. I wish this were not the case, but it is.

For those of us who have the ability to recognize the possibility of savoring something worthwhile, it is to you whom I speak. I challenge you, as I have myself, to slow down and savor many moments, events and seasons. Be present and consider just how fortunate you are to have experienced such a time. Gratitude comes to mind as I consider the many savored experiences I can recall. I am awaiting the next with positive anticipation. Perhaps helping someone else savor a slice of this life is a savoring experience in itself.

Quote & Pic of the Day, No. 15 of 24

” If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our hearts. ”    President James Garfield       IMG_0081This post is inspired by a rather unusual person by the name of Edna. I don’t have a photograph of her so I substituted a rose which fits her well. Edna lives in the same assisted living facility where Cheryl’s father resides. She just celebrated her eighty-fourth birthday with her family. They went out to eat at a local restaurant-all but Edna, that is. She developed a swallowing disorder several years ago which caused her to aspirate. She almost died of pneumonia a year ago. As a result of her condition she now has a feeding tube. She mixes her pureed food together at mealtime and pours it into her feeding tube without ever tasting what she just mixed up. She doesn’t complain, but simply accepts this is how she has to live. Edna uses a wheelchair quite often because she is unstable while standing, but this doesn’t prevent her from leading exercise class for some of the residents! She is a joy to talk with as she is always positive. She is a simple person without pretense. She takes pride in working most of her life as a maid…and she loved it. She is intelligent and vibrant and a pleasure to be around. She may have wrinkles on her brow, but her soul is young.