Every day it is important to factor in some down time…
It doesn’t have to be much, and maybe only seconds are available, but I have found the refreshing that comes from simply stepping back from the load of the moment. Take a deep breath or two, enjoy a respite of peace…and close my eyes. Tune out the world and its constant cacophony of racket.
Imagine for a moment all your senses and how they are constantly receiving input from all that surrounds you. Right now. Your smeller is smelling and that’s a tough one to turn off. You can close your eyes, put on some noise cancelling headsets, keep things off your tongue, and even enjoy some sensory deprivation and not feel anything.
But it’s hard to turn off the nose.
The nose always knows. It knows when the flowers are too strong and sends a sneeze down the pipes to clear out any pollen that might be overwhelming your system. And I know how to sneeze! Two hundred miles and hour and it sounds like a freight train!
The nose smells danger in the middle of the night. Or that fresh smell of roasting coffee beans that comes from blocks or miles away. It seems the nose never knows how to Stop Smelling. You may adapt to a smell, but imagine a skunk right now… Your mind brings back that memory, but your nose is seeking it out!
Now. For just a moment. Imagine the scripture where we first learn of God smelling something. Surely he understood the olfactory sense since he made us in his image, but we do not find him discussing the sweet smell of the Garden of Eden. But after the earth has been cleansed with Noah’s flood, it must have had a weird smell. All the rotting flesh, putrid vegetation, and the soil slowly drying out.
But Noah… He comes out of the ark onto dry land. The first thing he does is to offer a sacrifice to God. One of the animals from the Ark, perhaps, and whatever dry wood he could locate. The smoke drifts into the sky…
“And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.” Genesis 8:21
We know scripture tells us that God never rests. He is described as one who constantly goes to and fro through the entire earth looking out for his own. (2 Chronicles 16:9) We find the patriarchs, kings, judges and leaders of all kind, reaching out to God in the middle of the day, as well as the middle of the night.
God never rests. Not in the way we think of it. Our bodies are finite and operates at peak performance after we have had appropriate rest. He rested after creation to teach us that we need a day of rest and recuperation from the labors of our hands.
Think about God always being there. Being God.
Last night I received a sweet message from someone I know. They thanked me for my years of being there when I was needed the most. “A pastor wears many hats” said a note from the weekend. It’s true. As a shepherd we try to be “all things to all people”, but I confess, it’s nice to receive the thanks that we miss throughout the years.
Part of it is, you want to feel appreciated. The other part, is you want to make sure you are making a difference…
Now. Think about God. We are fashioned in his image, that means he just may have some of the same needs we have for affirmation. The angels may cry “Holy, holy, holy” in the language of worship and adoration, but I believe God is simply waiting to smell worship, praise, and thanksgiving to him …
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 (Psalms 105, 106, 107, 118, 136…etc.)