by Mason Rutledge, President
Are you seeing sprouts from seeds that were planted during the struggles of this season?
These roses are from our garden. I did not plant them. They were placed decades ago by another homeowner. They worked the soil, dealt with the fledging sprouts, shoveled the rank compost, nurtured the growth, pruning, and more growth for years.
This rose bush and it’s roses are special to me because the fragrance reminds me of my mother. My mom died this day in 2004. The day round which this rose reveals its indelible bouquet each year.
This has been a year of pruning for our entire world. It continues today. I have a colleague who lost four family members in India last month. I have a handful of friends who have lost their businesses. It has been a struggle.
This has also been a year of planting. There are more opportunities in the world today than maybe ever before. Who would have thought that you would double your money by investing in movie theaters?
Through this season of cutting and planting there will be bloom. Some of you are already “smelling the aroma.” Others of you are planting for those to come after you.
It’s in Romans that the Apostle Paul writes that we are to “glory in tribulations.” That we should know that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-5). And in 2nd Corinthians 12, where we are encouraged to delight in struggles. And that we will made perfect in weakness. Anyone felt powerless in the last 14 months?
It is wonderful to have these roses bloom each year in our yard around the anniversary of my mom’s passing. The smell sends me back to happy memories.
We have been through challenging times, but “blooms” are happening or are ahead. Be on the lookout for these blessings and “stop and smell the roses.”
Questions for Reflection/Journaling
- Remember a loved one lost. Thank God for them.
- How have you been pruned (faith, family, or factory) over the last 14 months? How has that suffering produced character and hope? How?
- How are you “cutting and planting” for today? How are you “cutting and planting” for those to come after you?
- How can you be more intentional to look for the good things in life?
- Stop and reflect on the blessings of the last 14 months. Write them down. Thank God for them.
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