Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Bed of Roses

When people are happy, they often say that life is a bed of roses. I don’t disagree that happy moments often remind me of lying on a bed of rose petals; however, I’ve discovered that life itself, with all of its ups and downs, is a bed of roses. A rose, as defined in the dictionary, is a “prickly bush or shrub that typically bears red, pink, yellow, or white fragrant flowers.” Roses are given as signs of love and friendship. Too often, however, people gaze only at the beauty in the petals and the smell while they fail to remember the prickly nature of these flowers. In the saying, then, that life is a bed of roses, I like to tack on that it is so, thorns and all. Life is never perfect, and there are often more sorrows than joys experienced. The thorns along the road of life ought to remind us of the thorns that pierced the Savior’s brow. In the relationships where roses are exchanged, the whole flower represents the bond of friendship and love. The beautiful petals and sweet fragrance point towards the happiness found in man’s relationships while the thorns remind mankind of the fact that all relationships, of any degree, will have hardships. Whether these hardships occur directly between the two people specifically, or if they are indirect due to the sufferings of one or the other in other relationships which the friend observes, listens to, sympathizes, and helps the other through.
As life grows more difficult to bear, the beauty in the roses becomes more difficult to find. This is where one must look for the silver lining in the rainy clouds of one’s present life. Most often, these silver linings take the form of true friends, the ones who are there to catch you when you fall, to bring you up from your knees, and to make you smile again. These friends are God’s gift to you, and it is your responsibility to care for and nurture the friendships. Thus, just as they help you, so must you likewise, when their lives become more thorny than soft, help them as best you are able, giving advice and a shoulder upon which to cry as well as the hope of a better day on the horizon, no matter how far that day may be.

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