Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do You Smell Like Jesus?

“ Do you smell like Jesus?”
by Marisa Lykins

I’m sure a lot of us have been in stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works, or a Yankee Candle store… we’re at least all very familiar with the scented candles that those stores and many more sell. Even schools and clubs sell them for fundraisers – everyone, at least all women love scented candles unless your allergies are sent completely into orbit by them…
They have candles with scents and smells for any mood… whether it’s the one you’re in at the moment or the mood you want to be in within the hour, for all situations, and even for different seasons if you will.
It’s all based on aromatherapy concepts:
Some medical research says that “Aromatherapy may produce both psychological and physiological effects. Aromatherapy benefits includes stress and headache relief, sleep improvement, mood boosting, hormones’ regulation, muscles’ relaxation, immune system’s stimulation, blood circulation, skin improvement and even disease healing”.
I say even if it’s all in our head it does make us feel better to get a hint of something that produces nice images or memories in our minds.
Lavender – relaxing
Citrus/peppermint – for energy, to be invigorated
Melon/Cucumber – refreshing
Vanilla/berry – soothing, calming
Vanilla with cinnamon, or oatmeal and honey, may take you back to the cookies your mom or grandma used to make
Cinnamon may take you directly back to Christmas years ago and your home
Scent has the power to change us – enhance or change our mood, our point of perspective, our outlook… scents can leave such a lasting impression that just like the vanilla and cinnamon combination, or the oatmeal and honey, it doesn’t matter if it’s been 25 years you never forget what the scent of those homemade cookies in the oven smelled like and your are instantly transported back to moms kitchen on a Friday night as a 8 year old licking the spoon and trying to eat them before they had even cooled!
The smell of your favorite candles are slight and faint as they are on the store shelves, but what really activates them to truly release their scent is when a flame is applied to the wick. Sometimes you think it smells a certain way when you pick it up in the store but then when the flame is applied they sometimes release that scent on a totally different level.
Did you ever think about the fact that as we travel our daily road in life we leave a faint impression behind as well? We leave faint traces of a scent behind depending on our moods and what we are dealing with, how we treat others and behave around them because our actions always affect more than just ourselves.… but it’s when the heat and flame come, the hard times, the next crisis, the aggravating situation, the unexpected, when the flame is allowed to actually touch our wicks and we feel the heat, how we react then – to that flame - will determine what scent we are really leaving behind and what that says to others.
Galatians 5:22-23 says “The fruits of the spirit are love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control…” what truly heavenly aroma’s

So, does the vanilla scent of kindness and gentleness linger when you have had a disagreement with another because you remained calm and handles it with care? If we became angry, and condescending, how would that smell?
Does the renewing scent of melon and cucumber tickle the senses of that family we just shared our groceries with even while times are hard for us too because we got outside of ourselves for a moment – that would surely leave them with that scent that gave them a renewed faith in human kindness… or would we leave the stench of a lack of compassion trail behind when we didn’t even ask how they were doing even though we knew they were struggling so hard last month, because after all things are tight for us too aren’t they?
What do you think the scent of selfishness smells like? Really, try to conjure up the image of what scent lingers when we turn a blind eye and ear to the person next to us who just needs a little compassion and someone to talk too… but hey, we really needed to get out of work on time that day because the dry cleaning needed to be picked up, and we wanted to get to the video store before it closed, so we put it out of our mind that that coworkers spouse just walked out on her and her two kids the week before… we can always ask how she’s doing tomorrow… right?
When someone encounters us as disconnected and uncaring what does that smell like?
Now here’s a question for you… Do you think Jesus has a scent?
What would he smell like to you? What soothing smell does He leave when He comforts your loneliness, what scent is in the air when He gives you a precious day with your family that was unexpected, or blesses you with just the right song on Love89 just when you needed it?
I think He has many – because He fulfills all needs, right? He’s wants to be our everything, is our everything, so His sweet aroma changes as our needs change!
If we were created to glorify Him, then we should always be leaving faint traces of His smell as we travel our daily road.
As we seek to know ourselves based on His reflection we develop His scent I think. When God created woman He created us not only differently from man, but specifically on purpose different from man. We are I believe created to reflect the emotional relation side of Him on a level that man could not… so we are naturally I think able to be more in tune to His heart of compassion, we understand relationships on a different level… so if we as women find our true identity and freedom He provides from the very beginning of time, if we really tap into that we can walk that daily journey more ready to leave strong lingering scents behind us with all those we meet. We just have let the world for far too long tell us how busy and able to do it all we as women need to be that we lose touch with the ability… it seems hit and miss of not completely hidden at times.

When we understand what He has truly given us in life – in eternal life, in His intention for how we are to live - to be – then we glorify Him. To Glorify God means simply this – to reveal Him.
And if He is our everything, then when the heat is applied to the wick of our lives - when that unexpected death of a loved one comes, when we lose that job of 10 years without warning, when we have that miscarriage, when we are betrayed by a spouse, when the deadlines at work loom and we feel stressed, whatever heat gets applied to our wick and becomes a flame, how we handle that determines how we Glorify Him… if they smell the Jesus they need or an unpleasant odor that is all us – when we take our eyes off ourselves and see the world through His eyes and react accordingly we glorify Him and the scent becomes so strong those around us can’t ignore it and the images they will conjure up for the rest of their lives because of what they experienced in our presence becomes a sweet aroma of being in His presence…

At this holiday time of the year when we should naturally think of what we are thankful for and what has been given to us in the birth of our Savior we still can sometimes let the chaos, the hectic pace, and the anxiety brought on by all those families and friends get to us, then our focus can still get off track of why we should truly just enjoy Christmas for what it is. Now more than ever it’s even more important to leave the right impression and scent behind.
I wanna smell like Jesus!