Stop and Smell the Roses
For reading & meditation – Matthew 6:25-34
“… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow …” (v. 28, RSV)
Another principle that helps us cope with stress is this: Seek to overcome any rigidity in your personality. You can best understand rigidity by comparing it with its opposite – flexibility. A more formal definition of rigidity is this: “The inability or refusal to change one’s actions or attitudes even though objective conditions indicate that a change is desirable.” The rigid person clings to certain ways of thinking and acting, even when they are injurious to the personality and burn up their emotional energy. Someone described it as similar to driving a car with the brakes on. Take the housewife who worries herself into a migraine attack because she cannot maintain a scrupulously tidy home while her grandchildren are visiting. Or the businessman who triggers off another gastric ulcer because he falls behind with his schedule when his secretary is away sick. Inflexible goals can be crippling fetters. It’s no good saying, “But there are things that have to be done, and if I don’t do them, they just won’t get done.” Perhaps you need to rearrange your priorities, adjust your lifestyle and learn to say Ono.” As someone put it, “We must not drive so relentlessly forward that we cannot stop and smell the roses by the wayside.” You may be caught up in the midst of one of the busiest weeks of your year, but pause for a moment and ask yourself: am I driving, or am I being driven? Am I in control of my personality, or is it in control of me? Today, decide to take a step away from rigidity by pausing to “smell a rose.”
O God, I am now at grips with the raw material of living; out of it must come a person – Your person. Help me to be rigid only in relation to You, and flexible about everything else. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What was man’s first day?
2. How can we enter into God’s rest?