We Smell Like Our Work



Author Rita Snowden remembers sitting in a café late one afternoon in a small village near Dover, England.

As she was sipping her tea, she was suddenly overwhelmed by an astonishing fragrance.

It was quite simply one of the most pleasant aromas she had ever smelled.

“Where is that coming from?” she asked her server.  He explained that it was being carried by the workers from a nearby perfume factory.  They had finished their shift and were walking down the street, on their way home.

Their clothing was permeated by the fragrances they had been working on all day.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to fool the people we meet every day.

We smell like our work.
And our priorities.
And our choices.
And our relationships.
And our heartfelt commitments.

Everywhere we go, we carry around the aroma of who we truly are and what we genuinely believe.

And the world is either glad that we’re passing by, or hopeful that we’ll quicken our pace.

There’s an interesting text from the writings of the apostle Paul.

During the days of the Roman Empire, conquering troops would parade through their capitol, leading the prisoners they had captured.

Conquerors and prisoners alike walked across flower petals strewn on the streets by the crowds.  The resulting fragrance was a reminder to everyone present:  Chalk up another victory for Rome.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15:  “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved…”

Our greatest aspiration should be that those we meet today might catch a scent of something beautiful, humble, and hopeful in our lives.

And that they’d be glad of our presence.  And sorry to see us go.  And maybe even willing to conclude:

Chalk up another victory for the God who transforms human hearts.

— Authored by Glenn McDonald

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