Sensing the Scent of Beauty

beauty seenSome clichés are falsehoods and aren’t worth the price of a vowel on Wheel of Fortune; however, timeless classics like, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder have been cherished for generations.

To be honest, I lack more than just a little sophistication when it comes to appreciating the elegance and splendor of beauty, but even I can appreciate:

Beauty should not be thought of as just a sensory perception of the eye. It can also be a pleasant fragrance that fires the sensory neurons in your schnozzle. 

People like me can identify a canvas that hosts the bright strokes of a Picasso,  but we are more apt to be awed by the sight of a scrumptious slice of apple pie fused with the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  While some of us will never fully appreciate the world of art, there are others who will never savor the delicious bouquet of culinary delights nor the sweet perfume of a rose.

It’s estimated that 2 million people actually stink at smelling. Dysfunctional smellers are found more often among men than women: In one study, nearly 25% of men and 11% of women, ages 60–69, had a smell disorder. This diagnosis falls into four classifications:

  • Anosmia is the complete inability to detect odors.
  • Hyposmia is the diminished ability to detect odors.
  • Parosmia is a change in a person’s ability to distinguish odors.
  • Phantosmia is the bogus illusion of the nose; it is a perceptual false-positive of an odor that isn’t present.

The nasal tone of this post would not be complete, if I failed to mention two smells that are especially pleasing to God:

  • The aroma of your prayers that evoke the smell of golden bowls full of incense in (Revelation 5:8).
  • The aroma of your love that Paul speaks of in the book of Ephesians.

Let today be the day to contemplate the beauty that surrounds you, to reflect on the beauty of the Lord our God that is upon you (Psalm 90:17), and to take the words of Thoreau to heart: Behave so the aroma of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere.

Have You Met The New You?

newuI have never found evidence of the long-sought after fountain of youth, but I do know that Paul wrote to the Ephesians about renewal:

If you have heard Jesus and have been taught by Him according to the truth that is in Him,  then you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self—that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust— to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit.  Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.                  ~Ephesians 2:21-24

Paul says you have the opportunity to get rid of the old, step into a new life, and take a fresh breath of life.  Spiritual renewal shapes you into the “likeness of God,” and you begin to realize that you are:

You’re not a crumpled model of this old world; you’ve been freshly fashioned in the likeness of Jesus, and this is why you:

Forget your former way of life, “that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust.”  Embrace the new you.  It’s time to “take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit.”

You’re A Piece of Art!

51-pack3-021514-tm“Blind as a bat” is an old cliché that most of us have heard, but that is not the vision problem that restricts most Christians—tunnel vision is the more common affliction. Like blinders on a horse, our view of what we can become is narrowed by a focus on what we have been.

We need to forget what I like to call LBC or Life Before Christ, and focus on the potential of what we can become in Jesus.

Any woodworker, silversmith, or potter will know what I mean when I say “potential.” These craftsmen can see an ordinary piece of wood, rock, or clay and see its potential to become something new. They have the same gift as Michael Angelo who said: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Paul tried to explain this concept to the Ephesians when he said: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).” Wow! His “workmanship!” His piece of art!

Instead of limiting yourself with an LBC mindset, begin to believe that God sees the potential within you and He has gifted you in a special way. At the instant you became one of His children, you were blessed with eyes of faith to claim His promises, strength for the journey, and the mind of Christ.

A favorite verse of mine is 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Paul did not allow an LBC focus to mold his life: “This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”

If you’re like me, you may not be much of an artist, but I still know that I’m a piece of art, and like Paul, “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

A Picture Is Worth a . . .

The photo to the right is a picture that speaks of intricate design.  It is a picture of the famous Rose Window in the York Minister Cathedral in England.

The window was designed to celebrate the marriage of King Henry 7th and Elizabeth of York. This marriage finally brought an end to the ‘Wars of the Roses’ that had divided British feudal nobility between the years of 1450 and 1485.  This marriage joined the House of Lancaster to the House of York and brought peace to the two families and eventually gave birth to Henry 8th.

The picture to the left is equal in beauty to the top photo, and it also speaks of complex design.  The curious thing about these two pictures is that when people see the Rose Window they stare at its beauty and ask questions that focus on the person who designed the window.

When people look at the picture to the left, some are perplexed to learn that it is a vertical cross-section of human DNA:  The human race that some say is the product of chance.

Would you believe that the Rose Window and the York Minister Cathedral just spontaneously appeared without a designer?  I doubt it.

How, then, can a person say that the human race with 3.1 billion bits of information in the DNA was not designed?

I  believe this is a case where  a picture really is worth a thousand words.