When we say "transformation, " it means that nothing of the old has remained. Something totally new has flowered within you. Now you look at a rose plant that is full of thorns. Springtime came and rose flowers burst out - it is a transformation. The thorns are still there - there are more thorns than flowers - but we do not call it a thorn plant. We call it a rose plant because of that single rose. Everyone's attention goes more towards that single rose than a hundred thorns that are on the plant, isn't it? So all the thorns in you, maybe you cannot remove them right now, but if one rose flower blossoms, everyone is willing to overlook those things.
Roses and thorns are parts of the same plant. Somehow though, some people are concerned mainly about the roses. The rose is not on the plant for more than a week, but the thorns are there forever. Roses are teaching that the beauty of life will bloom, once you have taught yourself the lessons given by living with the thorns.
I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND YOU When I hold a rose, I see the soft, velvety petals and smile, because tucked between those precious petals is a special gift - the one of a fragrance, pure and sweet. When you hold a rose, you see the thorns along the stem, and you frown because those thorns can bring you pain and cause you to bleed. I see the gift. You see the tragedy. More and more I fear that one of these days someone will hand me a rose and all I will see are thorns. Talk about tragedy.
When they killed him, Mother wouldn't hold her peace, so they slit her throat. I was stupid then, being only nine, and I fought to save them both. But the thorns held me tight. I've learned to appreciate thorns since. The thorns taught me the game. They let me understand what all those grim and serious men who've fought the Hundred War have yet to learn. You can only win the game when you understand that it IS a game. Let a man play chess, and tell him that every pawn is his friend. Let him think both bishops holy. Let him remember happy days in the shadows of his castles. Let him love his queen. Watch him loose them all.
...I remembered the rose bush that had reached a thorny branch out through the ragged fence, and caught my dress, detaining me when I would have passed on. And again the symbolism of it all came over me. These memories and visions of the poor--they were the clutch of the thorns. Social workers have all felt it. It holds them to their work, because the thorns curve backward, and one cannot pull away.
Albion Fellows Bacon
Life is about movement, expansion, growth, and actualizing potential. If you stay in a home, relationship, or job beyond the time it is healthy for you, the universe will prod you with thorns as if to say, "It's time to move to a broader domain." If you do not heed the message, the thorns will get sharper and at some point you will have no choice but to fly. When you do, you will understand why a once comfortable situation became uncomfortable.
There is more joy in heaven over a converted sinner than over a righteous person standing firm. A leader in battle has more love for a soldier who returns after fleeing, and who valiantly pursues the enemy, than for one who never turned back, but who never acted valiantly either. A farmer has greater love for land which bears fruitfully, after he has cleared it of thorns, than for land which never had thorns but which never yielded a fruitful harvest.
Pope Gregory I
Entrance into the Old Ways begins with the pricking of a finger with a rose thorn, which produces a drop of blood. This opens the way into the Thorned Path, a system, which uses five rose thorns to symbolize the five arts of Witchcraft that one should master. These arts are Herbalist, Fortune-Teller, Spirit Medium, Mystic, and Magician. We call mastering these aspects 'the gathered thorns' --thus the Thorned Path.
Focus on the roses: 'A person who gathers honey will not escape being stung by bees. A person who gathers roses will not escape being scratched by thorns.' The positive things in life also have negative aspects. Keep your focus on the beautiful roses of the world, and the thorns will seem trivial and inconsequential.
So it is with life. Those thorns, the prickly problems of life, cause us to strive to rise above them and then, as we do, we learn. We learn to exercise true compassion, true kindness - or the thorns, if we let them, cause us to brood, to mourn over our trials. Then we plant the seeds of bitterness, hate, and ruin - weeds. We may reach up for the rose or down to the weeds...the weeds in life that tangle us, strangle us, and cause us to lose hope.
I continue to marvel at the reluctancy of people to look into the mirror and see all the darkness that's within them: all the deceit, the dishonesty, the insincerity, the lack, the need, the want, the lies... they would rather look upon the mural of themselves that they've painted on the wall, and stare at that inanimate portrait of beauty, all the while telling themselves that it is the mirror image of them! This is a falsity, this is unreal! It is only when you turn to the unveiled mirror and bravely face your light and your darkness at once, that you will be able to see the true image of you! How can you pull the thorns from your skin if you are too afraid to open your eyes and look at them? You must open your eyes first, look at the thorns where they are piercing your flesh, and only then can you pull them out!
C. JoyBell C.
You do not seem to realize that beauty is a liability rather than an asset - that in view of the fact that spirit creates form we are justified in supposing that you must have brains. For you, a symbol of the unit, stiff and sharp, conscious of surpassing by dint of native superiority and liking for everything self-dependent, anything an ambitious civilization might produce: for you, unaided, to attempt through sheer reserve, to confuse presumptions resulting from observation, is idle. You cannot make us think you a delightful happen-so. But rose, if you are brilliant, it is not because your petals are the without-which-nothing of pre-eminence. Would you not, minus thorns, be a what-is-this, a mere perculiarity? They are not proof against a worm, the elements, or mildew; but what about the predatory hand? What is brilliance without co-ordination? Guarding the infinitesimal pieces of your mind, compelling audience to the remark that it is better to be forgotten than to be re- membered too violently, your thorns are the best part of you.