My favorite places to write are coffee shops. There’s something about the aroma of so many good coffees that seems to cause more of my neurons to start firing. Somebody should make a scratch-n-sniff version I can take home. But since I haven’t found one, when there’s a deadline looming, I head to my fave café spot until I’m finished. I think I almost won the employee of the month award there once.
Last time I walked into “my” café just for a fun lunch, I took a long sniff and said, “Mmm, smells like a book deadline in here.” Another writer friend fired right back, “Hmm, smells like procrastination to me.”
They do have a great potato/po-tah-to soup on the lunch menu at my coffee café. It’s not often I have any left over, but I did a few months ago. I packaged it up to take home and got it as far as my car, but then I forgot it. My son borrowed my car for a week or so and the soup ended up shoved way under the seat in the back.
By the time I got back in my car, it made my eyes water. It didn’t help that on top of the potato soup stench, Daniel had left several socks in a kind of compost pile. The whole car smelled like the monkey cages at the zoo. This was scratching and sniffing of a whole different order. Some smells are hard to ignore. Even with the windows down. Even with the windows down for several weeks in a row. It’s clear that sometimes a to-go order loses something in translation. Or in transportation.
In Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Faith,” we read that God gave Abraham a to-go order of a different kind. What did Abraham do? He took off! Never mind the where. He packed up his faith and hit the road. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going,” (Hebrews 11:8). What a great example of faith and obedience—going!
We’ve been given a to-go order too. In John 20:21, the resurrected Jesus said to His followers, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And He made no bones about it in Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” His “therefore go” is our charge. What a privilege to be sent on such a thrilling mission by the Savior Himself.
As we go, we’re His billboards. And we’re spreading the sweet perfume of Christ at the same time. This is so much better than anything scratch-n-sniff. “But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place,” (2 Corinthians 2:14, HCSB). The aroma of Christ! Others are influenced—changed, even, by Christ—when we wear His perfume. We’re sent. And we’re His scent.
It’s a glorious aroma. No matter how long you drive it around in your car.
Rhonda Rhea is a speaker, humor columnist, radio personality and author of 10 books, including Espresso Your Faith and How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? Rhonda lives near St. Louis and is a pastor’s wife and mother of five children in their teens and twenties. You can find out more at www.RhondaRhea.com or connect with Rhonda on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhondaRhea.Author.