Stop, Look and Listen

Stop, Look and Listen!

I remember… and you probably do also. Way back when. We were being taught how to survive crossing dangerous intersections! Well, maybe “survive” is a little strong, but as a kid, I remember someone teaching these important words to share how we need to exercise caution at every stop sign and crossroad.

Not bad advice for all of us even today in our grown-up world!

When in London, you had to really focus on remembering that traffic moves differently! Looking BOTH ways saved me a number of times from stepping out into traffic thinking it was safe to cross the street.

Drivers Ed taught us to look all ways at every intersection before proceeding through the corridor. I’ve watched people just GO! when the light turns Green, not once thinking about an inerrant driver not noticing the Red. People day-dream at the most inopportune time! I know I’ve saved myself several times from potential disaster by just looking before I go!

Hmmm. Look before you leap. Wonder where that one came from? Back in 1350 A.D., Aesop recorded a fable of a fox trapped in a well. He persuaded a goat to jump in so he could get out by climbing on the back of the goat and leaping clear. Ah…but how does the goat get out?

When learning to fly my instructor constantly reminded me to “keep your head on a swivel” always looking everywhere around you. Especially over your shoulder! There’s no rearview mirror in a plane!

The year we married, 1974, Mac Davis and Doc Severinsen wrote a song called “Stop and Smell the Roses“. After meeting on The Tonight Show, Severinsen shared that his doctor told him he needed to stop and smell the roses and he thought the two of them should write a song about this. Mac Davis did while vacationing in Hawaii, crediting Severinsen as the co-writer. The lyrics suggest it’s necessary to stop along the busy road of life and spend some time simply smelling the roses.

Here’s a portion of it:

Hey Mister Where you going in such a hurry
Don’t you think it’s time you realized
There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry
The sweetest things in life are free
And there right before your eyes
You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings every day
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t Stop and Smell the roses along the way (Source)

Jesus teaches a parable about a rich man who had a year of abundance and success. “Where do I keep my abundance? Well, let’s tear down my old barns and build bigger barns! Then I can rest, eat, drink and enjoy life.” (Paraphrased from Luke 12:16-18)

Sounds like the good life. Work hard. Store up the wealth. Take it easy and enjoy life! Many strive to make it rich! Early! When they are younger! They want to kick back into the Life of Riley (you just have to know the reference!). Porch swing, where are you?

But God has a different idea. When life comes to an abrupt and early end, who gets the benefit of your success? If you store up treasures for use here, you are not rich in God’s books! (Luke 12:21)

But then Jesus takes the lesson of the parable a little deeper. Consider the Ravens, they do not sow and reap, nor store their goods for future use, but God feeds them. Consider the Lilies. They neither toil nor spin, yet they are more beautiful than Solomon arrayed in all his finest! Do not stress about food or drink, nor let an anxious life fill your mind, the Father knows what you need.

But seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you! (Luke 12:22-30) Click To Tweet

I like the word Luke references. Consider. To observe fully. In my mind, Jesus is telling them about the importance of Stopping, Looking, Listening and Thinking about life around you. It is Solomon that tells us to pay attention to even the ants. They have no ruler, boss or leader, but they know to gather and save for the winter so there is plenty… Consider the Ant! (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Driving home yesterday a tiny spider spun his web and dropped down from the window sill, dangling halfway down the glass. I’m not a reactionary, nor do I ditch-dive when something like this pops onto my radar (like some I know), but my mind started considering what that little spider was experiencing. 70 mph, traffic, sun, clouds…and here he’s just hanging around. I so wanted to put a magnifying glass on him and see if I could tell what he was thinking! He crawled back up the glass to the comfort of the rubber molding, which is probably where his home was! Thinking, all the while, what did I just witness!??!

Today. Can you not take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and find that park bench to rest your weary bones on and simply consider the world around you? Find something to focus on and simply think about life from a different perspective. I know it always gives me a restful respite from the weariness of the day. I’m sure you’ll find it also.



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