Originally Written for 10/12/08
Ah, you gotta love driving through the country. Sometimes when I drive home from work I get to experience the fresh country air – it always reminds me of riding my bike through rural Wisconsin. An, strangely enough, I can always tell when I’m following a truck transporting pigs even if I can’t see it.
It never fails – I’ll get on the road, open the windows, and then it hits me. It’s a unique and special aroma, one you don’t easily miss and one you’ll never forget. After a little while, as it gets stronger, you’ll see the truck up in front of you in the road. And, if you’re like me, you do one thing: close the windows and pass the truck.
It’s cliché, but every time it happens I think of this verse in 2 Corinthians – one Bill mentioned several weeks ago in his sermon: “For we are the aroma of Christ…” (2:15).
And when I smell the pigs (or, in the case of cycling through Wisconsin, the cows), I ask myself “How do I smell?” I’m not making a joke – I really do ask myself this. Not in a literal sense, but a spiritual. I’m twisting the words of scripture here a bit, but I think you catch my drift (pun intended). Do I bring the aroma of Christ to those around me in a way in which they desire to “stop and smell the roses” or do I bring a stench that causes them to close the windows, floor it, and cause someone to ask, “What died in there?!?!”
If you continue on in 2 Corinthians Paul uses another image to describe us – that of a love letter: “You are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tables of human hearts.” (3:3)
Have you ever considered that you are a love letter to others for God? What do they read when they see your life – when they hear your words – or when they encounter your presence? Our first and primary purpose in life is to glorify God, and part of glorifying Him is bringing others to Him. Are you so excited about what happens at church that you leave and find someone to invite because if they miss it they’ll miss an encounter with the creator of the universe? Are you so in-tune to God’s Spirit that when He tells you to stop and minister to the strange in the store you do? What aroma are you giving off? What is the message people get when they read you?
It’s worth think about.