What may look small, can cause BIG trouble!
What may look small, can cause BIG trouble!

About 10 days ago I decided to be industrious and trim the rosebush in the back yard. This rose bush is about 15 years old and HUGE. Our backyard is pretty much the “playground of the canines”, so I do little more to it than mow really! However, this rosebush is truly a monster! I’ll have to get a picture of it in full bloom sometime. By the end of the summer, the branches are hanging low to the ground and some pruning is necessary. I decided to do it on impulse, which is never a good start to any project.

Instead of wearing gloves and long sleeves, I simply ran inside to fetch the clippers. It shouldn’t surprise you that by the time I was finished I was covered in scratches and even a rash! (I must be allergic to multiple rosebush thorn scratches). One particular thorn ended up causing a lot of problems.

Somehow, it broke off under the skin of my right index finger. I’m not sure why I’m saying “somehow”, because we’ve already established I was doing this without gloves (sigh).

Anyway… I couldn’t get it out! Today, it had finally healed enough that I decided to try again. I found a needle, disinfected it, and found a bright sunny spot in my office to plop down and “dig”. I was amazed that I got it out after 3 or 4 minutes!

How could such a tiny thing, cause so much pain and distress for 10 days?

Thorns are nasty little things. I suppose for the rosebush, it serves a purpose. But thorns are definitely one of those things that ended up in existence after “the Fall”. What good are they really to anything other than the plant?

Thorns make great analogies, however. For example, plants that produce thorns (which includes many weeds) are easy to grow. They require very little maintenance. Within a short period of time, they can choke out plants that you sowed on purpose!

Choking out the Important

Chloe is a wonderful assistance dog. I really count on her, and I cannot imagine life without her! However, Chloe isn’t perfect. Many of her “faults” are common hound tendencies. Hounds are hunters and should Chloe spy a bunny in the front yard, the house could be burning down and she’d only sit and perseverate on that bunny. I acknowledge one time what she’s barking at, and then work hard to re-direct her. Sometimes I have to get firm, and sternly tell her to “settle”. Infrequently, I have to go a little farther. If she simply will not leave the very thought of that bunny alone, I command her to go in a “down/stay” in her bed by my desk. (This is where she usually plants herself anyway as she’s rarely far from my side sans a bunny in the front yard). When she is commanded to go there, however, to her it is punishment. To let me know how she felt, she decided to pout.

DSC03072 Chloe may decide to let all her training and every good thought to be choked out by thorns if she allows it. She can be decidedly narrow-minded once a bunny enters the picture. Thankfully, she is eager to please as well, and so her pouts are normally short-lived.

Don’t we all allow one thing to crowd out everything else sometimes?

Accentuate the Positive

There is an old song about accentuating the positive. Many times we choose to do the opposite. One or two things can be going wrong in our life, and suddenly our lives are “horrible”. I get frustrated with people who have a bad day, and then announce that they “hate their life”.

For some reason, we will let thorns choke out every good thing in our lives. The Bible is full of verses about thorns, and they often have to do with choking out good things. Another anaology the Bible uses is that of a “thorn in the side”. Ouch! We should strive to be a blessing to others, not a thorn in their side!

Is Hearing Loss a Thorn, or a Blessing

Isn’t it hard to try and be thankful for a life-changing disability? I don’t know that we ever have to quit TRYING. It doesn’t naturally “compute”, and it is a daily decision we have to make. The alternative however, is to allow our disability to be a thorn. It can grow and fester and choke out all the good things in our lives. If you have a hearing loss and it affects your communication with others, do you allow the negatives to choke out all the numerous positives in your life? It’s easy to do; easy to allow…

You may need to get out your clippers and do some pruning. Take my word for it; don’t do it on impulse. Plan, prepare, pray, and make sure you dispose of all the clippings.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics of this great old song, Accentuate the Positive:

Gather ’round me, everybody
Gather ’round me while I’m preachin’
Feel a sermon comin’ on me
The topic will be sin and that’s what I’m ag’in’
If you wanna hear my story
The settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin’
The attitude of doin’ right

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark?

(Man, they said “We’d better accentuate the positive”)
(“Eliminate the negative”)
(“And latch on to the affirmative”)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

(Ya got to spread joy up to the maximum)
(Bring gloom down to the minimum)
(Have faith or pandemonium’s)
(Liable to walk upon the scene)

You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive
Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative
And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, don’t mess with Mister In-Between

Denise Portis

© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal

One thought on “Thorns

  1. Roses are worth the thorns, I think, those big beautiful bushes with so much fragrance. Being “into” roses, I’ve learned a trick or two: next time a rose gets “into” you, try a product called Prid–it’s an old fashioned salve that helps draw out stuff from a wound. A good soak in Epsom salts, then the prid with a band-aid and the thorn will often come out far enough for tweezers (less digging). It’s also very good for spider bites.
    Love this post, m’lady: how easy it is to get the perspective choked by unwanted circumstances!

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