As the great Lynn Anderson stated …
“ I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There’s gotta be a little rain some time
When you take you gotta give so live and let live
Or let go oh-whoa-whoa-whoa
I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden.”
I hated this song as a kid . I had experienced first hand the devastating effects that the fallout of life’s storms can wreck in your life, and frankly, I found her pointing out there had to be rain a little redundant.
Even at 8, when I first heard the sound on a Classic Country station, I found the message too simple. I know now that the term for this is “reductive.”
Ms Lynn had a lovely voice, and it’s a sweet and sassy song. But it’s fairly patronizing.
What simpleton goes through life expecting it to be easy ? Certainly most of her audience were people , who having just lived through Vietnam were made decisively aware of just how precisely awful the “rain” can be.
And yet, sometimes a twangy country song that’s almost 50 years old can speak louder to my jaded heart than anything else in the moment.
Sometimes it’s easy to deceive myself. Sometimes it’s easy to believe that because I have committed my life to Christ that things should be easier, better , safer.
It turns out I’m still looking for that rose garden.
I want peaceful easy days. I want unbroken hearts and uncomplicated relationships. I want my children to always be safe and well and happy. I want to always be this close to my husband and to be counted as his best friend. I want always to experience a church that is alive to the Holy Spirit. I want to be a positive force in my community. I want Americans, as a whole, to live and love and understand each other. I want to make good art and teach my children and inspire others. I want friendships where I am fully known and not misunderstood, and not in competition.
I want that rose garden.
When tragedy strikes, and my footing is shaky, I’m looking around in bewilderment. Why is that? Because I expect life to be pleasant and beautiful and if not easy then at least simple and carefree.
And yet, the one that I profess to follow told me that I would experience the opposite.
Who is the simpleton now?
“ 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
I’ve already been wanted . Life isn’t going to be a rose garden. So why does it take me by surprise ?
Maybe I’m in need of reminders after all. Reminders like the song from Lynn Anderson,