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Stop and Smell the Roses


I will never forget what my high school band teacher, Mr. Zentz, said to our band class one morning. For those of you who might not be aware, yes, I was a band nerd in high school. Honestly, some of the coolest people in high school are in band so don't judge us until you get to know us! I played the tenor saxophone and was like the Kenny G of my high school band. I'm totally kidding…I really wasn't that good. Anyway, our band was full of smart, over-achievers. In other words, kids that easily got stressed out/anxious/worried about school/their futures. Our band teacher, Mr. Zentz, was very aware of this. So, on this particular morning, it was right around the time where us seniors were applying for college, making college visits, and trying to answer really stress-free kind of questions like, "What am I going to do for the rest of my life?" The anxiety/worry was almost palpable in the room so before we began our warmup, Mr. Zentz laid his conductor baton/stick down on his music stand and told us to lay our instruments down in our laps. So, we did. He then told us to listen to him very closely because, he said, "What I am about to tell you will absolutely change the rest of your lives." So, all of us over-achievers immediately started taking out our notepads and pens and getting ready to write down whatever Mr. Zentz was about to say. Then he really did say something that I have never forgotten. He said, "Stop and smell the roses, friends." We all looked at each other and thought to ourselves, "What in the world is he talking about?" Of course, he went on to explain what that idiom means. Stopping to smell the roses is an act of appreciation and recognizing the source of the goodness in our lives. It means taking time to recognize joy.

This is what Jesus preached about in Matthew 6:25-34. He said that worrying does not solve tomorrow's problems. All worrying does is suck the joy out of today. All worrying does is cover up the delightful smell of roses in your life.

In today’s world, the list of what we can worry about seems endless: finances, job security, school, health, the future, relationships, parenting, appearances, taxes, etc. Anxiety can feel like a normal part of life. But the truth is we don’t have to live in worry. In one of the greatest passages of Scripture, right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches on worry/anxiety. We will soon discover that He invites all of us to cast our big concerns and worries on an even bigger God. Rest assured; He can most certainly handle it.

— Pastor Marge

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