Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rosa Damascena

Rosa Damascena in all its common beauty

Rosa Damascena is the name of a specific breed of rose that is very popular in certain parts of Bulgaria.  It grows on a big bush, and is small and rather unimpressive compared to other roses.  You are not likely to see it in flower shops because it is just not that good looking, yet all of our lives would be dramatically different without this rose.

Rosa Damascena is harvested in Bulgaria like corn is harvested in Iowa.  It is the best rose in the world for the production of rose oil.  After being harvested, the rose pedals are put through a complex process to extract as much oil as possible from every blossom.

This rose oil is then shipped around the world for use in most perfumes, colognes, and soaps.  Without rose oil, the world would smell a lot worse, and about 80 percent of the world’s rose oil comes from this homely looking blossom found in the heart of Bulgaria.

If you are like me, you may occasionally look at your life and wonder if anything good can come from you.  You may think of yourself as just an average person without much to contribute.  You may see value in yourself, but it is the everyday ordinary kind of value.  If you were a flower, perhaps you would think you were a very plain looking flower like Rosa Damascena.

Yet if an ugly rose like this can be used to change the world, surely you can be too.

Think of the people who have had the most impact on your life.  If you are like me, most of them are relatively unknown.  Looking at my life, I can't say that it has been greatly transformed by any famous person, powerful politician, or great speaker of our time nearly as much has it has been transformed by the people closest around me.  These plain ordinary people have made a great impact on my life, and their legacy will live on in me even after they are gone.

I doubt that I will ever be known as a great man.  I am not a beautiful rose that will sit as a centerpiece in some great palace.  I am a common rose like Rosa Damascena.  And I am ever so grateful that God has made me common.  For it is the common people of the world that make the greatest impact on it.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."  -Paul (I Corinthians 1:27-29)

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