Stop And Smell The Roses

Posted December 12, 2021
Originally Posted 12/27/2010. Presented here again with significant revisions.

StopandSmellThe RosesClick Above To Order This CDDid you ever take a walk through the forest, stop and dream a while among the trees? Well, you can look up through the leaves right straight to heaven. You can almost hear the voice of God in each any every breeze. You got to Stop and Smell the Roses . . .
From Stop and Smell The Roses by Mac Davis

I know that this isn’t necessarily a news flash, but it seems that, now more than ever, society finds itself on a treadmill that increases in speed each and every day. We work longer hours in more stressful environments in hopes of reaching a golden ring that always seems to be just out of reach of our grasp.

I can often tend to be a workaholic. My feet typically hit the floor early each weekday morning, have breakfast with my dad at one of the local diners each morning and then off to my home office. Why so early? I couldn’t squeeze any more in a day unless I got up earlier. I have reading and writing to do and then my phone starts to ring and e-mails start piling in, all often demanding my immediate attention. Since the content end of Boomerocity is essentially a one-man operation, it’s not unusual for me to work on the many tasks necessary to get something online.

Of course, my smartphone is constantly on my dumb butt, buzzing constantly with e-mails, text messages and phone calls. Rare vacations are never really vacations anymore but are merely those days that you have an excuse not to immediately answer a call or e-mail . . . but I typically do. Heck, I’ve occasionally worked on problems in my sleep and woke up with an answer to the problem.

How insane is that?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. It’s the nature of my world and the world of many of you and, having found myself unemployed a few times in my life, I know that the alternative is not a very palatable one. The feeling of being a mouse on a wheel is a very real one to all of us, whether we are career people or housewives, or househusbands. Life is just too fast sometimes.

I have a couple cousins who are ministers in different denominations. One of my aunts used to send me tapes (and, later, CD’s) of one of my cousins’ sermons whenever he preached. Over twenty years ago, I was struck by something he said in one of those sermons. He said, “Sometimes, the most spiritual thing we can do is rest.”

Think about that for a moment or two.

I know that I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. In fact, I believe that my crayon is severely cracked if not actually broken. Be that as it may, it’s obvious to even a bonehead like me that the human race is wired by our Creator for regular, routine, frequent rest. Most, if not all, major religions have as part of their beliefs a regular, weekly day of rest.

Having been born in the deep-south and spent most of my first nine years here (and the last 8+ years here), I remember when most stores and businesses would close on Sundays. Of course, restaurants were always open but that, somehow, seemed okay to me. Prior to the pandemic, we would get upset when a grocery store closes at midnight.

I know that these days and times are burdening many people with almost unbearable financial weights. Many are unemployed. Still, others are under-employed and must work second and even third jobs with just the slightest hope of making ends meet. And, as just stated, many of us are work night and day to meet the demands of our careers.

I know that it’s next to impossible to find the time to come up for air let alone have a day of rest. Take what you can get. Maybe for just 15 minutes every day, you can just go to a quiet area where you work or live and just clear your head, pray or just stare off into space - anything to have some alone time away from your stressful environment. Often, when weather permits, I step outside the super-secret Boomerocity man cave, sit down, prop my feet up on the deck cover post, and just breathe in the amazing Smoky Mountain air; watch the trees gently sway when there’s a breeze; listen to the whistle of the coal-fired train at Dollywood; or just listen to the bird’s chirp in the countless trees around me. Some of those times are mere minutes. Other times, I’m blessed with more.

Maybe you’re in the city. Maybe you work in a traditional office. Maybe you work at a restaurant, retail establishment, or daycare. Take a break and just let your mind rest.

More importantly, if you can, take some time and rest – really rest. For a whole day, a couple of days. A week. Whatever you can get.

Sometimes, that’s the most spiritual thing any of us can do.