You must Stop if you intend to Smell the Roses.

Wild Roses

Today I woke up early determined to run up the mountain to two beautiful lakes. This is exercise at it’s best and I was committed to reaching the lakes in less than an hour. The route is all up hill amid towering pines paralleling a rambunctious stream.  As I labored upward there was only one thing on my mind.  Make the trip in 60 minutes.  Okay, I was also thinking of oxygen. 

A flash of color catches my eye. Wild roses!  I can’t stop.  Have to make it to the top in an hour.  But about ten strides later I turn around and run back for a closer look.  The roses are so beautiful, I can’t resist snapping a picture.  Then a sweet, wild, pure aroma washes over me. I inhale  deeply, put my camera away and with renewed energy  continue my sprint up the mountain.  On this steep trail “sprint” means a heaving shuffle, but I refuse to walk. I have to make it in an hour.


A few minutes later I see another flower so beautiful it is been designated as the Colorado State flower, the spectacular Columbine. I glance at my watch.  I must stop even if I don’t make it to the lakes in an hour.  The camera shutter clicked and I continued on.  Then there was part of an elk carcass and the bluebells. I end up stopping to take all of the pictures you see here and I am so glad that I did.


The the lakes were still there when I finally broke into the open at the end of the trail.

Not only did I reach the lakes I got a chance to enjoy the journey AND I made it to the lakes in 56 minutes.

I know it may sound trite, but don’t let your hurry to reach a destination keep you from stopping to smell the roses.

Don’t hurry past LIFE.

Have you ever stopped to “smell the roses?” What was your experience?



  1. Tomorrow I will be 63, so I have decided to stop and smell more roses, etc., to get a couple new nightgowns(the comfy ones had many small holes from many years of wear), to use our good china more often (means gotta start cooking more!), and a cappucino from Panera’s at least once a week-even sitting outside for a couple of minutes on a busy morning to enjoy it. These are starters, but it is time and I am trying not to be selfish about these changes. Thank you for the reminders.

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  2. Thanks Ken — I’m working on a humongous deadline today, but I stopped to read your blog, even though the responsible side of me screamed, “Don’t waste time reading Ken Davis.”

    But, I’m glad I did. Thanks for the reminder of what’s important and the awesome photos. I am curious about something: Did you stop to smell the elk carcass?

    1. Lee,

      I did not stop to smell the elk carcass. LOL Don’t listen to the responsible side when it say’s “Don’t waste time reading Ken Davis” I promise never to try to waste your time.

  3. When our Maker asks, “Did you like the fragrance I gave the ‘rose’ that I made for you?” I, for one, would not want to have to answer.. “What fragrance?”

  4. Thanks, Ken, for the reminder. I’m so glad you went back to see, smell, and shoot! It completes the day before it’s even started! God bless!

  5. There’s quite a few lilac bushes around here and some of them hang over the sidewalks. Rather then go around, I like to just walk right into them and bury my face in a bunch of blooms. I was recently reading a book that told me to stop and visualize heaven. My first image? A lilac bush. (Bit off topic.)
    I tend to have no problems stopping to smell the roses, it’s keeping myself on task where I have issues. Hehe
    That has to be the most beautiful Columbine I’ve ever seen.

  6. You said it, STOP. It is the hardest word after learning to say NO!
    Stopping to smell, look. listen and even close my eyes has become my mission of healing that “responsible” part of me. I still get the to do list done or find it could use some revising. I feel healthier and motivated. I find many new ideas float to the front of my brain when I stop. And even when there is no “obvious outcome” I still find that the STOP is as important as the process of getting to the destination. In music it is the silence of a rest between the notes that can make the most meaningful beautiful music. I
    n life it is the STOP in the middle of the GOING that makes the journey most beautiful and meaningful!
    Thanks for the reminder!

  7. That is such a good reminder Ken. My husband and I have been talking in the past few weeks about how we are never really content and enjoying where God has us in that day. We get so caught up in the next thing and where God is leading us next, that many times we are not content where He has us today. Just like God told Moses, ‘Come up on the mountain, and be on the mountain’, He has been telling us, ‘I made today especially for you, won’t you come enjoy it with me’. I think sometimes we get so focused on God’s plans for our future that we forget to be content and live to our fullest potential today.

  8. I can so relate to your journey…except for the ‘sprinting’ part of the mountain and getting there in less than 60 minutes. We just returned from Steamboat Springs and took a hike with our ‘Minnesota lungs’ and too little water. We too had a mountain lake as our destination…but it took us 3 hours to reach the pinnacle! The good thing about slow travel is we got to truly enjoy the wild roses and the amazing Columbine. In fact, I was enjoying their fragrance and beauty on a regular basis as I bent over to ‘catch my breath’! God’s beauty is amazing.

  9. Onc of the things that I have found so much joy in is visiting with people in Nursing Homes so seven years ago I started a Nursing Home Ministry and we now have 4 groups of people holding “Praise and Worship” services in 12 homes and have had 18 people saved that was only hours or weeks away from eternity without God. Its been the greatest Blessing of my life to go into these homes and give a big hug to someone who is lonely, depressed and without God, and tell them Jesus loves them and then lead them to the Jesus. God just opens the windows of Heaven and continues to pour out His Blessings on the Ministry. That is my wait of stopping and smelling the roses. Take time out of my busy schedule and let someone know JESUS LOVES THEM.

  10. Hello again Ken, wow, you made me cry with this blog. Thank you for sharing it, thanks so much. I LOVE roses, bluebells and a plant called a bleeding heart. Just planted two in my front yard. So to know that we can actually be stopped by the power of God’s beauty , to smell and realize what he’s given us to enjoy and see, and just think of what’s in Heaven that we’ve never seen or smelled?! It just touched my heart, I have most of your videos, and you truly are an inspiration to me, I can’t wait to get your book. Thank you for just being you!! love and prayers, Trisha Salem VA.

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