When I was in the fifth grade my family moved from Arkansas to a town in Missouri . The town was called West Plains and I was fortunate to grow up there and graduate from high school as a ZIZZER. I will explain the name ZIZZER in later blogs. Some of my first memories of West Plains was moving to a home on Manze Ave that was about two blocks from the high school. I would get on my spyder bike with my banana seat and my butterfly handlebars and ride down to the high school and ride on the sidewalk that surrounded the school. At the time I really didn’t know anybody so it was my task to get to know the territory. My mom was very protective, so she set my boundary at the high school parking lot. After about two weeks of the same route I talked her in to letting me branch out and I rode another two miles down the street across some railroad tracks and that’s when it hit me. The Smell!! The smell was awful and it was coming from a big building right by the railroad tracks. I turned my bike around pulled in the parking lot and before I knew what I had done I yelled out “What is That Smell?” One of the workers was coming out of the office and heard my question and made one replay,”Smells like money to me!” As I grew up and played baseball on the field down the street from the factory, or ran by it en route to the track at Carmichael Field I would smell the factory (which made cheese) and those words would come to my mind. “Smells like money to me.” I will never forget the sweet memories of West Plains and every time I smell something that is really strong in the wind I think of the old cheese factory.
There is also a fragrance that we as believers keep the rest of our lives. It is the fragrance of the Lord in our lives when we accept Christ. The change that takes place is seen immediately in our lives upon the regeneration made possible through the blood of Jesus. From that moment on we put off a sweet smelling fragrance that is easily recognizable by all who know Christ. That fragrance draws us to each other in a very personal and unifying way. We long for that fragrance from others in faith and that smell always denotes victory. In 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16 Paul speaks of how God leads them from place to place in a perpetual victory parade as they share their gospel message. The word victory is speaking about those who receive Christ and become part of God’s forever family. He goes on to say that everywhere they go people breathe in the exquisite fragrance of Christ in their lives. The aroma smells like LIFE. The life that only Christ can give.
The cheese factory is a very memorable smell of my past and the impact is still felt. Also, that smell faded when the factory shut down and left town. Our fragrance stays with us for good. When I received Christ that aroma was not only my past, but my present, and my future. Also, it is a smell that means life to all who hear the message of who God is and what He offers to all. All of us can have that Victory Parade Paul is talking about if we will allow the fragrance to get stronger and stronger through deepening our walk with Christ.
If someone happens to get close enough to you and they notice Christ in your life, don’t be surprised if they are drawn to the fragrance given off by the Holy Spirit in your life. And if they by chance say, “What is that smell?” Be ready to say, “It smells like eternal life to me! Would you like to try it?” To all the old ZIZZERS from my past I say, “Thanks for the memories, and seek Christ with all your heart.” I hope the fragrance of Christ in my life was a sweet smell to you.
The Pilgrimage continues….