Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Aroma of Christ

A looming deadline, an orderly environment, the expectations of others... these are a few of the things that distract me daily.

Earlier this week, I was working on a project with an imposing deadline. The taskmaster in me took over, working quickly and methodically to pull all the necessary pieces together. The burden of the details made me ever-cognizant of all that had to be accomplished in a short period of time. I needed to get all these pieces coordinated, so I could move on to other important work. My days were full and time flew as I checked numerous items off my to-do list.

One day, I heard frustration and doubt in the voice of a partner in this project. "It'll never happen. They want what?" He didn't have the same vision I had for completion. He didn't like the pressure of the pace. (And in his other comments, he didn't even treat me with the golden rule.) His glum resistance felt like an obstacle to reaching our goal, seeing results that were already clearly in view in my mind.

Needing his participation, I was forced to slow down and take time to answer more questions, to share my vision, to encourage and provide flexibility in the way he could support this project, while still meeting our deadline.

Duh. Then I suddenly saw this as the important work, in the whole scheme of things, not the end results! If I could remain calm and respectful -- in spite of the way he treated me -- I could be the aroma of Christ in his life.

Each day God calls me to this, and many times I know I miss that opportunity, because my focus is on getting things done... Things others want, need, expect and demand of me. These things are important, too, of course. But I must not miss out on the most important things -- the opportunity for deeper relationships, the eye contact, the soul contact!

It seems this same lesson is repeated again and again for me, in different scenarios, with a variety of distractions and challenges. It's all part of the process God is using to refine me. And His refining I certainly need.

Thank you, Lord, for your patience with me. It's amazing you would trust me at all to be used in your service. I'm so human and I so quickly revert to my human agenda rather than your Godly agenda. Shape me in your image so that I may be that much more useful to you.

2 Cor. 2:14: 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.

Please pass this on to others who may like this message.

Challenge: How can I be the aroma of Christ to those around me today?


  1. Hi Marilyn,

    I so enjoyed reading this post about the aroma of Christ! What a great reminder! Recently, I have felt the same way struggling with so many demands on my time. It seems there just is not enough time to fit it all in. But staying true to what is most important in God's eyes and putting that first will always help us in our decisions.

    Your blog posts are such a blessing!
    May God continue to bless you as you seek His direction ...

    Carol Boston

  2. Hi MBJ,

    Great writing and a great message about relationships!

    This reminds me of a recent daily reflection about being "present in the moment". With all the busyness and various activities we bombard ourselves with, its easy to forget to be present. My mind is on tomorrow's meeting, next week's app't, what I'll have for supper then all of a sudden I miss my turn. Have I also missed an opportunity to be a light for someone who may need it because I'm too wrapped up in my own world? Probably.

    Hugs to you,
    Bonnie <><