As a child growing up, we’d often make the trip to my grandparents in Howe, Texas. The trip from Plano was around 45 minutes. In the early days without car air-conditioning, with the windows down you could smell the creosol that coated the fenceposts. Now every time I come around that smell, it reminds me of those trips long ago.

Danny Minton

Danny Minton

Smell is the strongest sense that we have to bring back memories. I walk through the locker room at a gym and I get the pungent smell of sweaty clothes and my years of high school football come into my mind. I open up a can of coffee, and it reminds me of the days in the dorm when I’d be studying for finals and brewing up a pot to stay awake most of the night. The smell of baby powder reminds me of when my boys were little. The smell of freshly mown grass in the spring brings back memories of childhood play. The fishy smell of a lake reminds me of going fishing with my dad. The smells of Christmas bring back a myriad of memories.

On the other hand, there are smells whose odor possess no good memories at all. The smell of a skunk is repulsive. The smell of a dead frog reminds me of the times I had to bathe my dog over and over. There are many times I have had to hold my nose because of bad smells.

Smells bring memories to mind, sometimes good, sometimes bad. So back to the question, how do I smell? To be more specific, “How do I smell to God?”

When God looks upon me is he pleased? Does he have pleasant memories and thoughts of me? Or am I a pungent odor that he has to hold his nose?

Hopefully what I say, what I do, the attitude I carry, and the thoughts of my heart send up a sweet smell to those I meet, but more importantly to God.

2 Corinthians 2:15: For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ

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