Stop! Smell the Roses.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you "stop and smell the roses"?
Our days are generally filled with what we need to do, aren't they?
Put out the next fire.
Schedule the next meeting.
Go through my checklist to see what I have forgotten to do today.
We live in a time when there is always more we could be doing. We look around us and the person next to us is going pretty hard after life, so shouldn't we be as well?
That is why the popular expression "stop and smell the roses" has lasted.
It feels like our culture now has embraced the phrase "Run and feel free to trample the roses" on the way to being productive and accomplishing more. It is a badge of honor to have no free time, to be busy, to be stressed.
Wise followers of Jesus see past this hurried way of living, savor the world God created and sustains, and take time to appreciate the beauty, blessings, and bounty that God has given to us in this life.
One casualty of this inability to slow down is that it makes it difficult to read the Bible the way it is meant to be read. We can give into the temptation to rush through it, seek instant gratification from it, and not take time to savor with the nuances in the Word of God. I know many people that know little of so many great books in the Scriptures because of this.
Let's remedy that some.
Since we are in a series in Joshua, we can start start there. In an introduction to his brilliant commentary on Joshua, Richard Hess says,
"The stories of Joshua are among the most exciting in the Bible. Who has not thrilled to the drama of the march around Jericho and the collapse of the wall? Or who has not pictured in the mind the drama of the battle of the ‘longest day’, when the sun stood in its place and Joshua fought the kings of the south? Mixed in with these colourful accounts are the accounts of the founding of a nation in its land, the covenant ceremonies with all Israel meeting before Joshua and renewing their commitment to God, and the detailed allocations of land, that great visible symbol of the blessing of God to the chosen people. This is the book of Joshua and today more than ever its message bears hearing."
God has given us His word and their are so many nuggets of wisdom within that are beautiful roses that point us to Him. Stop and smell the roses today. Use the messages from when you are here on Sunday or watching it with us online as a springboard to get deeper into the book of Joshua. Or read chapter one every night for a week. Or read the whole thing through in one sitting. Or read it in different versions to see different translations. (Here is one site where you can do it for free.)
However God has made you, lean into it as you take time to slow down and smell the roses in this marvelous book that is for our good and His glory.
Smell the roses, browse the book, and we'll see you Sunday!