Smell is a big deal. It’s the only sense you have that extends into your brain directly. It’s a key component to our moods, memory and appetite. Your nose is a truly remarkable structure. When a nose functions the right way, it can help us detect as many as 2,000 different scents. It also conditions the air we breathe. We inhale about 17,000 times a day, moving some 300 cubic feet of air through our nostrils every 24 hours.
That’s a lot of nose business. That snout of yours has to clean, humidify and in a fraction of a second, warm or cool the air you breathe to match your body temperature.
A scent, fragrance, or aroma also have a powerful effect on our emotions that help transform the way we feel. Specific smells suppress appetite, reduce stress, revitalize and energize, even promote physical attractiveness. I know I certainly become much better looking when I throw on some Old Spice.
The thing about smell is that it can do the opposite as well. A bad smell can put you in a bad mood or flat wear you out.
You might know the name King James because of the famous English translation of the Bible. What you might not know is that he was a character that didn’t care to live a life reflecting the Bible he had commissioned. His very interesting life as King of England is something worth looking at. Though a promiscuous homosexual, he married Anne of Denmark and had seven children who survived beyond birth.
He himself survived the Guy Fawks gunpowder plot but none of those things are really what King James was famous for. King James suffered from a terrible fear called aquaphobia and he never took a single bath his entire life. Those around him suffered the smell of a King who refused to put water on his body. He was a presence to be reckoned with and when he came into a room every one knew it.
There’s nothing worse than somebody that reeks from a major malfunction of personal hygiene.
The Stink in Big Bend
Big Bend National Park is an amazing place and that area was the last frontier for the lower forty-eight.
When people in the rest of the United States were voting for Roosevelt and driving the Model T, Texans in the big bend were enduring Apache Indian raids on ranches and dealing with bandits robbing their banks.
Extremely eccentric places tend to attract eclectic characters. Bobcat Carter lived at the Permission Gap entrance to the National Park. He devoutly preached to all that, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness. A true gentleman should bathe at least once every seven years. I do!"
People say you could smell him a mile away. He ate skunk stew, drank from a pregnant horses utter and poisoned prairie dog villages for a living. He would turn back flips along the road just to stop visitors for a chat.
After more than a hundred years old, he was taken to a hospital in Alpine. In terrible protest they removed his filthy rags and scrubbed his nasty body. “Don’t let them kill me!” He cried, as black water splashed across his elderly form.
Three days latter Bobcat Carter died, apparently the victim of pneumonia. The bath had actually killed him.
When you can’t see something or feel something, you can still identify it if you can smell it. The sense of smell is all about discernment. I think if there is anything Christianity needs today is a strong sense of spiritual discernment. A lot of things feel right and look right but you can just tell there not because of your spiritual “knower”. The ability to be able to identify what is God and what is not. What is life and what’s not something that brings life? Furthermore the people around us should be able to sense something different about Christians. We ought to be so full of life that people around us can smell it on us.
The Christian church is metaphorically called the body of Christ. This body is really attractive when we are properly joined with Christ the head. I think one of the reasons why Christianity is so unattractive to so many people is because too many of us are bodies that have become unattached to Christ as our head. After it’s all said and done, a headless body is good for nothing but lying around and stinking up the place.
"…the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."