10 May 2008

Summer Rides & Stinkiness

God is so faithful! I've been frantically trying to find a ride down to Jacksonville this summer... every girls' carpool I contacted was full and one I couldn't get a hold of, so I started e-mailing guys promising them I wouldn't take up much room and asking if they could find space for me. I went to UCC tonight and sat with Meredith and was telling her about how I still wasn't sure how I was getting to STP, that I was just waiting to hear from some of the guys, and this guy comes up and he's like, "Alyssa, right?" And he tells me he got my e-mail and he has a spot for me if I want it. Praise the Lord! I'm pretty excited. God has just been providing for me all over the place. It's hard to believe I'll be in that car in just 15 days!

It's starting to hit me that this semester is actually over -- Jess is moving her stuff out and our room is starting to get empty. And as much as I don't like taking finals, it's so great not having to go to class anymore! I have four finals + four shifts of work spread out over next Monday - Thursday. It's been wonderful to have my afternoons free now to walk down to Radina's for hot chocolate or lemonade and to spend some quality time with the Lord. It's too bad God didn't give me a taste for coffee -- then I wouldn't have to take so many naps!

This morning I got up and went to the ATM for banana whole wheat pancakes. They were pretty delicioso. When I came back to the dorms to take a shower, I realized something: I smell like pancakes. The smell was in my clothes and my hair -- the same thing happens after an afternoon at Radina's; I come home and smell like coffee. I don't drink coffee, but the smells just absorb into all my materials as I sit in such an atmosphere. And for people who go into places like bars or old bowling alleys, you probably notice you come out smelling like cigarettes. It doesn't matter if you've been partaking in the cause of the scent, but you just immersed yourself in that environment for a period of time. And the weird thing is, you don't notice it. You don't notice it until you stand up, say goodbye, and leave -- until you take your first steps into fresh clean air. And you realize you stink.

And it got me thinking: what do I smell like? Who am I hanging around and what kinds of things am I surrounding myself with that I am inevitably absorbing? Are people drawn to me or are they disgusted because I reek?

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NASB) says,

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are pershing."
The purpose of a fragrance is to influence and dominate its environment. Are people drawn to my fragrance -- to my humility and way of life? Or does my scent turn them away? Am I being influenced by the wrong fragrances? Sometimes we need to step out of our situation into a place of clean air where we can fully evaluate our situation. We need to take a step back, go on a journey, take a retreat, spend some time alone, and ask, "What do I smell like?"


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