There once was a path. It went on for a very long distance indeed. The path was steep. It was bumpy and sharp. Those who climbed the steep path rarely even looked up to see where they were. They never saw the grass or the trees or the animals who lived there in the park. The path and its difficulties stole all of this from the travellers. Truth be told, that path was one that feet struggled to travel on.
But there, in the midst of the struggle- not separate from it, but in the midst of it- lay a little, delicate rose. Its petals were thin and wonderfully shaped. Their colour was the most beautiful powder pink. It was still attached to its stem and had a few of its dark green leaves framing it. In the early morning light, it was a gift for the eyes and the soul!
It caused all who came upon it to pause a while on the path (cold and hard as it was). As they did, they drank in the beauty of the rose. Having done so, their eyes were inevitably drawn to look upwards in thanksgiving for this gift. When they looked up from the path an amazing thing happened. Suddenly they saw where they really were! Not only were they on a path of struggle, they would realise, but they were also surrounded by the beauty of green grass, each blade unique and perfect; surrounded by trees tall and proud, giving a home to birds of many colours and varied song; and surrounded by animals darting here and there with energy, enthusiasm and purpose.
Aware now that they were surrounded by life, the travellers gathered their strength and were readied for the next steps along the path.
Take some time with the image of the rose and see where it takes you. You could also use these questions:
* what difficulties are you experiencing right now that you would give over to God?
*how could you take a pause on the path of life?
* where might beauty lie around you?