Eternity Matters: Gladiolus by the Roadside

By Norma Shull Smith

I personally enjoy traveling on country roads. To me it takes the monotony and boredom out of a drive. For years I had reason to travel this particular road and I couldn’t help but notice a tall tin vase filled with gladiolus leaning against a fence near a residential driveway with a sign reading, “Free, Enjoy your day!” It was placed there every year during the month of August. I never stopped to take from the tin, but was tempted upon many occasions; after all, ‘Glad’iolus should make the recipient ‘glad!’ It’s been years since I’ve traveled that road, but I’ve thought about the generous act of kindness by the grower, many times. I’ve also thought about the countless wildflowers that is peppered along most roads, even highways. Blue Bachelor Buttons, Queen Anne’s Lace, Goldenrod, Purple Loosestrife, wild Daisies and from time to time small Black-Eyed Susan’s! All for our enjoyment and to make us ‘glad’.
I wonder how many of us drive by them and not even notice or consider them invasive weeds rather than color to brighten our day!
As we arrive at our destination. be it work, the grocery, shopping, or home, we too become ‘those flowers along the road!’ We are daily on a road through life, coming in contact with a numerous people and in our homes, we either become to our family that beautiful flower, or that weed that causes us to feel crowded.
We can choose to get in the overly busy fast lane, which causes us to always be in a hurry, or we can chose the slower route, allowing ourselves enough space and time to be that flower to someone else. Daily we are given opportunity through the words we use, through our reactions, and/or our willingness to serve. Scripture compares us like grass and like a flower. I Peter 1:24 says, “For, all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.” ESV. Just like the seasons, we are only here for a time. May we use that time to encourage and bring gladness into the life of those we come in contact; allowing our beauty to represent fullness of joy! “You (Lord) make known to me the path of life; in your presence (Lord), there is fullness of joy; at your right hand (Lord), are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 26:11 NIV Eternity Matters!

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