At first I didn't recognize it as a thorn. I thought it was just an inevitable scratch from grabbing for the rose called Significance. A battle wound of sorts. But it started to infect the blood of my soul with diseases like wrong motives and critical attitudes. That's when The Doctor gave me the diagnosis.
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1
I walked a 13.1 mile half-marathon seven months ago, and thought I smelled the rose. That rose called Significance. The one that tells me I matter. Because I did it to raise money for kids whose parents sell them as slaves. I did it so that they could be rescued. And, as I walked for three and a half hours that Sunday, thousands of people cheered me on and congratulated me as I walked the course and crossed the finish line. I even got a medal. I thought that was part of the rose.
But I walked a 13.1 mile half-marathon three days ago, and I know I smelled the rose. I'm pretty sure I even saw some of it's beautiful petals. This time, there weren't very many spectators cheering me on. Many of them didn't even seem to know that walkers could be part of the race. I found myself annoyed at having to slow down for the couple lolly-gagging across the street in front of me. Right in the middle of the course. And there's that darn thorn again. But that thorn couldn't keep me from the real rose this time. Because this time the same Doctor Who's pulling out the thorn is the very One Who held it out for me to smell. The rose, that is. It smelled like my Father's pleasure.
image courtesy of www.downloadfreedesktopwallpaper.net/The rose called Significance smelled like true importance. The kind that never ever gets trampled on or dwindles away. The kind that can only come from Perfect Love Himself.
I walked in obedience this time. I walked because He asked me to help those kids.
And He walked with me. Quietly sharing our hearts. Me whining about the upcoming hill as it came into view. And thanking Him for not asking me to do the whole marathon. He reminding me how happy He is with me. Even if I don't finish. Even though I'm not running, like I wanted to. But pushing me on with His gentle strength. And He held out the rose for me to smell. The real one. He let me breathe it in.
Because my significance does not lie in achieving something that others have not. It does not come from doing things that others admire. It doesn't come from writing a blog that gets lots of traffic and comments. Or from raising children who are amazing people. My significance does not come from anything or anyone but the One Who created the very meaning of significance. He alone holds the rose called Significance. He's The Gardner. The One Who planted it. Who sustains it. Who prunes it and shares the beauty of its fruit with all who care to see it. With all who stop to breathe it in.