DayBreaks for 5/17/18: How Do You Smell?
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008:
When we were touring Kennedy Space Center, we went to the International Space Station assembly facility. Since most of the station is now in orbit and complete, there wasn’t much going on, but they were preparing a supply module that would be carried up to the station on a coming shuttle flight. The cylindrical modules are 15 feet in width (the cargo bay of the shuttle is 16 feet wide), and this particular module would be carrying up stuff that the crew aboard the shuttle needed.
The guide that was at that station told us an interesting story. He informed us that the air on board the space station is relatively stale. When a new cargo module arrives, those aboard the space station flock to the airlock where the new module is attached to get a whiff of the fresh air that’s contained inside the module. As the lock is opened, they all breathe in deeply…and they all comment how the air “smells like Florida.” After hearing that, the ground crew started including some fresh oranges, lemons, etc., to make it smell even better for the astronauts who are missing the fresh air.
Once the module has been emptied, it is then filled up…with dirty clothes. There is no facility on the station for washing clothing, so the empty module becomes like a combination laundry hamper and trash can. The shuttle then ferries it back to earth.
When the ground crew gets the module offloaded from the shuttle, no one scurries to be there when it is opened because…well, it stinks.
This made me think about the passage which talks about how we smell: 2 Cor. 2:14-16 (NLT) – But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
There’s something about Christians and Christianity that smells. Interestingly, and in contradiction to what one might expect, to God we are a fragrance. God loves our smell! But those who are earthbound and not heaven-destined find the fragrance quite off-putting. It’s not because we present two different fragrances – Christians carry the sweet perfume of the Good News either way. Our job is not to go around trying to stink to people, but our first obligation is to God, to offer our lives as living sacrifices that are well-pleasing to Him. Others will make of it what they will.
PRAYER: Lord, let us carry the sweet perfume of heaven to all. May we live in such a way that you are happy and pleased with us, that we delight you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.