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Staff Message - Joel Barthel

Hello all! I am Joel Barthel and I teach Science here at MLHS. Have you taken a moment at some point in the past week to “stop and smell the roses”? That is, have you paused from what you were “supposed to be doing” in order to just enjoy the simple or seemingly unimportant things? If so it might have been just a quick glance at a butterfly, listening to a songbird, or literally smelling some flower blossoms. God made all these things for our enjoyment, but we often overlook them or take them for granted. The writer of Psalm 104 walks through the days of creation, then in the section that recaps days 5 and 6 says “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24) So when I stop and smell the geosmin molecules that come after a new rainfall (The human nose can detect geosmin in the air at less than five parts per trillion!) or hear the crickets’ chorus blend with the owl as the moon runs its cycle of reflected light, my heart can’t help but echo the psalmist’s thoughts. But the consequences of living in a world that has fallen from its maker often make me forget these blessings or redirect me back to what I was “supposed to be doing”. Despite the things that pull away our attention or bring us pain and harm, we are still blessed with rainbows and roses. Let’s not take the blessings of God for granted. But let’s stop and smell them. This includes the greatest blessing we have in Jesus. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy. He will not always accuse. He will not keep his anger forever. He does not treat us as our sins deserve.” (Psalm 103:8-10) Therefore as the psalmist concludes his recap of the days of Creation, “I will sing to the LORD throughout my life. I will make music to my God as long as I last.” (Psalm 104:33)

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