From Fox News: (Paul Batura)

When I was a little boy in the 1970s, an old couple lived in the corner house on our street. It was ringed by a chain-link fence that was covered with blooming roses each spring. Lots of roses. So many roses, in fact, that when I would walk to the bus stop for kindergarten, I would start smelling them one house away.

The McCabes lived there long before I was born, so I’m not sure when I was told or when I fully appreciated their storied history. But as the years rolled on and I gained a greater appreciation for horse racing, I sure wish I knew then what I know now.

As a young man, Johnny McCabe was a jockey – and a very successful one. The high point of his career was winning the Kentucky Derby by eight lengths in 1914 while riding Old Rosebud. The gelding set a race record at the time – completing the mile-and-a-quarter sprint in 2 minutes and 3 seconds.

From childhood, roses always intrigued me. Even back then, I knew they were valuable and fragile – but the sharp thorns on the branches scared me and kept me from getting too close.

Roses are something of a metaphor for life – they take time to develop and then at the right moment, bloom in all their beauty. But the dazzle doesn’t last that long and the thorns can really poke – a reminder that you have to take chances and take the bad with the good.

I’m already looking forward to the Kentucky Derby in September – but I know we’re all especially eager this year for the blooms of spring because in the words of Lady Bird Johnson, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”

And as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a deadly toll, we sure could all use some hope.

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The late Welsh pastor and writer, Dr. David Martyn Lloyd Jones, once suggested the cure for worry and anxiety was found in Psalm 42

"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Jones once asked. "Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday.  Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you."

He went on: "Now this man's treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul?' he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, 'Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.'"