Walking through my garden on a warm day, gifts me with cascading fragrances; sweet, floral, citrusy, woodsy all at once. Their complexities make the discernment of the source of each fragrant delight well nigh impossible. Yet the fragrance as a whole draws me in, as if to woo me into the magnificence of its complexity. Wandering from plant to plant; garden area to garden area in search of the origin of the wonderful bouquet; I concluded the whole of it was experiencing the divine fragrance of God.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
the divine gift of fragrance
In Exodus 30, God gives instruction for the building of the altar of incense, formulas for the incense and how to offer it before the Lord. Aaron received direction for the placement of the altar of incense before the mercy seat, where God would “meet with him” there. Twice per day, morning and twilight, the priests burned incense and met with the Lord. God had a “signature” scent which we know contained frankincense, but the other ingredients remain debated. Only this compounded incense burned on the altar, representing God’s Presence. The fragrance surely drifted out of the tabernacle and the people identified the scent with the Presence of God. The fragrance of the incense rising upwards reminded the people God heard their prayers as they issued them upward to Him.
We see the detailed description of scent associated with the tabernacle in Exodus, which also remained in use within the Temple later on. Though God designated a specific scent correlated to Tabernacle and Temple worship, He also fashioned a myriad of scents and fragrances within His creation for our enjoyment and as a reflection of Him. For all of creation bears His fingerprints and teaches us about Him. Fragrance is but one of the many ways God provided as a means of interacting with us!
experiencing the divine fragrance of god
Though we may not have an altar of incense in our places of worship, we do not need a special place in which to experience a fragrant reminder of God. He invites us enjoy Him in each fragrance of His creating. Think about the number of aromas from plants alone; thousands of herbs, flowers, leaves, seeds! Then we have the scents of animals, food, weather; have you ever noticed the scent of rain? How about the ocean or freshly mown grass? Truly experiencing the divine fragrance of God could easily encompass a lifetime and beyond.
While Humprey Bogart may say “a kiss is just a kiss”; a fragrance is NOT just a fragrance. Every fragrance embosses a memory upon our minds. The scent of warm bread from the oven reminds me of simpler times at home when my children were young. Or the smell of tennis balls evokes memories of my beloved dog, Golda, who adored tennis balls! Perhaps as we seek to mindfully embrace the abundance of the gift of smell, God reveals Himself to us in new ways, impressing upon our hearts and minds the fullness of His being.
the divine fragrance of nature
Set aside time for a walk through the woods or a nearby garden. Or plan a time for a quiet retreat in your own backyard. Before embarking on your walk or retreat, spend a few moments in contemplative prayer asking God to heighten your sense of smell and reveal Himself to you through the fragrances He created.
- Which scents stood out to you?
- What type of scents did you encounter; plants, flowers, or wildlife? Perhaps seasonal or weather related.
- Which scents were new for you?
- Which attributes of God came to mind as you contemplated the various fragrances?
the divine fragrance of memory
Have fun allowing your nose to tell the story of the last twenty-four hours. Write down all of the aromas you can remember over the past twenty-four hours. Scents, fragrances, aromas are so much of our every day experience we seldom take notice or savor them. Think about the types of smells, pleasant or unpleasant? Strong or subtle? Spicy, sweet or pungent? What memories or emotions come up as you remember the scents? Take a few moments to thank God for the gift of fragrance.
the divine fragrance of the christian
God created man in His image; meaning we reflect God’s attributes, though marred by sin since the Fall. As Christians, the Apostle Paul reminds us we are the aroma of the knowledge of God everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16) In the same way the sweet incense burned in the Tabernacle and Temple signifying the Presence of God, we bear the fragrance of God’s Presence. We bear witness of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ’s victory as an aroma unto life for those who have yet to believe. But we also reflect back to God the sweet fragrance of Christ; as incense on the altar.
Consider your presence brings God’s Presence to loved ones, colleagues, friends, even those you barely know. The divine fragrance of love, grace, comfort and salvation becomes a gift we spread as a sweet savor unto God and others. As you relish the delicious scents around you gifted by the Heavenly Father and their reflection of Him, ponder the fragrance of your own life. Will others perceive the aroma of Christ and the knowledge of God about you?
a sweet savor
The sense of smell surfaces as the one sense people most take for granted. Sight rating the most valuable, followed by hearing, taste, touch, and lastly smell. God blessed us with five senses, so all have value; but given fragrances literally hold memories, and evoke emotion, perhaps we do well revisiting our sense of smell mindfully.
Experiencing the divine fragrance of God becomes as easy as a luxurious inhale. Savoring the multitude of scents with each nuance and depth of variants nature offers. The Creator spoke into being every living thing in a moment; but in that moment He breathed the complexity of his divine being into every living thing including the sophistication of fragrance unique to each.
Peace is the perfume of God. When God is close to you, you smell His perfume. And this perfume is exquisite. It is beautiful. The senses dance and life in that moment becomes complete. This beautiful aroma, this beautiful perfume, is what my heart desires, again and again and again.Prem Rawat
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