Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Lesson From An [almost] 4 yr old

"What's that awful smell?" I thought I heard said from a little voice in the den.

"What'd you say, Jonah?"

My nephew repeated, "What's that awful smell I smell?"

I called him into the kitchen where I was--partly because I didn't know he even knew the word awful, and secondly, because I had a hunch he was referring to the strange odor that comes from the dishwasher when it's on its drying cycle.

He came closer, took one sniff, and definitively said, "Yes! That is the awful smell I smell!"

He proceeded to ask me why it smelled awful and then asked me what the word awful meant. I can't remember what my answer was as to why it stank, but it must have satisfied him for he was no sooner back to playing with his Lincoln Logs.

Later that night as he was being tucked into bed I recalled his question and couldn't help but chuckle.

But then I felt like God was teaching me something through it. I thought about the fragrance or stench of our lives. As people are with us, or in proximity of us, what would they say about us? Do we leave a sweet aroma OR are people just waiting for us to leave the territory? Are we building people up with our words OR tearing people down with our hatred and gossip?

My family has an inside joke about the calamansi in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. All of us knew it was there. We each could see it...rotting, yet none of us did anything about it. For if we mentioned it, that would mean that we were aware that it was there and acknowledged that it needed to be tended to yet decided to walk away.

When there is sin in our lives or character traits about us that are not so "loving," it starts to smell. In fact, I'd like to submit that bitterness starts to eat away at us and makes us rot...leaving an "awful" smell when we talk.

So then I had to ask, are there areas in my life that I have not tended to?

How long has it been since we prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."?

I have to admit that I don't remember the last time.

So tonight, LORD, I pray as David prayed, "Test me and try me, examine my heart and my mind; [reveal to me any area that needs to be tended to,] for Your love is ever before me, and I [want to] walk continually in Your truth."

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