“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears” Issac Hayes
As we approach the end of 2020, I began to reflect on the type of year I’ve had. While I pondered this thought, an image of a rose emerged. Why a rose? Because roses are beautiful. They come in an assortment of vivid colors, have a robust fragrance, but much like life, they also have prickly painful THORNS. 2020 has certainly delivered its share of THORNS. The pandemic and the deadly devastation it has caused has been a THORN. Sheltering in place, mask-covered faces, lockdowns, school closures, working from home have all been THORNS. For me, 2020 has been a year of peaks and valleys. It has been a year of grief and loss. It has been a year filled with both possibilities and limitations. It has been a year of self-reflection, patience, and growth. How would you summarize or describe your year? Did you experience any THORNS? For this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about the THORNS IN LIFE!!
According to the dictionary, a THORN is defined as a source of discomfort, annoyance, or difficulty, an irritation, and or obstacle. BUT, a THORN is also one of the most ancient symbols in the world. It denotes sin, sorrow, and hardships, and together with the ROSE, it represents pain and pleasure. Ironically, in the same way, that roses and THORNS go together, so do the challenges and difficulties of life which also connects us directly to some of our greatest moments of success, joy, and celebration. THORNS IN LIFE are inevitable. We experience them in virtually every area of living, especially, in relationSHIPS- with ourselves and others. THORNS can be very painful experiences, but like roses, they offer us the opportunity to grow and blossom. THORNS may be necessary for our forward progress.
When I look back over 2020, certain THORNS come to mind-my father’s passing, the unnecessary death of George Floyd and other African Americans, the 300k deaths caused by the Coronavirus, racial tensions, and protests, police brutality, poor presidential leadership, the republican party, 35.4 million unemployed Americans, etc. and there are plenty of other THORNS that I could mention. But, even as I remember the pain and difficulty of these THORNS, I am reminded of the beauty and fragrance of the rose itself. Because in 2020, we’ve also had some incredible moments of people loving, healing, overcoming, and thriving throughout the year.
In spite of the THORNS IN MY LIFE, 2020 has been a reminder of the assurances that Jesus Christ made when HE wore the crown of THORNS –that HE would never leave me or forsake me, and HE HASN’T. 2020 taught me better coping strategies through self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, and connections with self that showed me how resilient I really am. 2020 taught me that if I want to enjoy the fragrance and the beauty of the rose, I must also appreciate its THORNS. 2020 has presented us ALL with THORNS IN LIFE but it has also delivered us some stunning bouquets of roses. 2020 has taught us that no matter what we are going through or what kind of THORNS we may be experiencing, we must always remember that the THORNS IN LIFE are inevitable BUT SO ARE ROSES!!!
SHIP TALK: Did you have any THORNS in 2020? What were they?
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