Following the Scent

by Apr 23, 2021Article, Prayer Newsletter

Following The Scent


For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

Romans 1:19-20

Drive past any McDonald’s restaurant and you’ll inevitably smell the intoxicating aroma of shoestring potatoes deep-fried in vegetable oil bursting through the building’s exhaust fans. The scent is unmistakable and nearly impossible to resist – unless you’re a McDonald’s employee.
 
Olfactory fatigue, more commonly known as nose blindness, occurs when we encounter a scent over and over again. Apparently, over time, the nerve that detects the scent stops sending electrical signals to our brains. After prolonged exposure to a particular aroma, we temporarily lose the ability to perceive the scent.
 
That means McDonald’s employees may not perceive the bouquet of deep-fried goodness the same way the rest of us do. So sad.
 
As a follower of Jesus, I encounter a similar spiritual blindness.

Heavenly Father, you are the God of Everything. Your glory is displayed in all of creation. Strengthen my senses when they become fatigued. Give me the ability to perceive Your presence in every encounter I have with others throughout the day. With each step I take, remind me I am on holy ground.

In the verse above, Paul proclaims God reveals Himself in creation, writing, “his invisible attributes… have been clearly perceived… in the things that have been made.” With so much daily exposure, it can become difficult to perceive the God of Everything in every thing.
 
But when I pray, it cleanses my palate and calls all my senses to attention. In prayer, the everyday encounters and experiences explode with the markings of God’s goodness and grace. In prayer, I prepare to find the scent of God’s holiness in everything that has become ordinary.
 
The fragrance of God can be found while stuck in rush hour traffic, searching for ripe tomatoes at the grocery store, or on a walking down a crowded street. The perfume of God can be found in our conversations with our children, coffee-breaks with coworkers, or even brief encounters with a fast-food employee. All of creation is bursting with the fragrance of God’s holiness. Prayer prepares us to follow the scent.

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