One of the men from our Team stopped me the other day and said, "Have you been down to the men's room lately?" That's not usually something we discuss - so I was anxious to find out why he wanted to know. "I walked in and smelled this beautiful aroma." Well, I had to agree that we wouldn't normally associate a public rest room with a beautiful aroma. He went on to say, "When I got back to my office, it had that same beautiful aroma." And what was the explanation for this spreading fragrance? Clarene, the wonderful volunteer who cleans our offices every week, had been doing her scrubbing and spraying. And though we didn't see her in any of those rooms that day, she left that great aroma wherever she had been.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "The Trail You Leave."
Our friend who does the cleaning isn't the only one who leaves an aroma behind. So do you and I. The only question is, "What kind of trail are we leaving where we go?"
Our word for today from the Word of God is from 2 Corinthians 2:14. "Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him." Paul is echoing here the life-attitude he talks about in Romans 8:37. And it has nothing to do with how painful your circumstances might be. After listing the ugliest things that can happen to you in life, he says, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." God is calling us to live with the joy and positiveness of someone who is always on the winning side.
And when you do, you leave this special fragrance everywhere you go. People feel something after you've been with them - feel important, ignored, relaxed, stressed, lighter, heavier. You're leaving some kind of emotional scent everywhere you go. It's supposed to be the scent of Jesus - the One the Bible describes as the "Lily of the valley" (Song of Solomon 2:1).
Things should be sweeter after you've been there - lighter. But the aroma you leave has everything to do with the time you spend with the Lily of the valley. When you're with Jesus, you become like Jesus. And you create the kind of climate Jesus created wherever He went. And people feel more encouraged, more cared about, more joyful. The effect of your presence is the fragrance that comes from "the knowledge of Him."
When you neglect your time with Jesus, you start to turn harder, more self-focused, more stressed, more negative. You tend to bring out the worst in your family, your co-workers, your friends, even your casual contacts.
I like the word "everywhere" in this fragrant verse. The Jesus-aroma is to be spread "everywhere." That gives you a wonderful mission in every contact of your day - not just to get your business done, but to leave a Jesus-touch behind. So you first make it your goal to sweeten and lighten the atmosphere at home, then at the grocery store, in a traffic jam, where you work, waiting in a line, in each phone call, in each appointment. Life is so much richer when you make it your conscious decision to leave a little love and encouragement everywhere you go. And on the days when you feel the least like doing it, it will do the most for you.
At our office, we experienced the fragrant trail left behind by a person who improved every room she was in. When you have really been with Jesus and let His attitude become your attitude, you will leave a trail that makes people very glad you were there.