Monday, July 14, 2008

You're not from around here, are you...

This Sunday, my family and I went out to eat at a local restaurant. When our waitress came to take our order, with her first sentence I could tell that she wasn't from around here! Sure enough, she was from South Dakota and her husband was stationed at the nearby National Guard base. Since meeting her, the phrase "You're not from around here" had been turning in my random thoughts.

We've all met people that immediately we pegged as to what group they were a part of or what area of the country they were from simply by their mannerisms and way of talking. Some people are harder to peg than others, but some simply stand out. I got to wondering, do I stand out?

When I first moved to Mississippi from Alabama (yeah, I know that's not that big of a difference), people told me the phrase "Once you get that Mississippi mud on you, you never get it off." In my naive way of thinking, I simply commented I'd use Tide - cause it got everything out! Now, of course, I realize they meant once you've lived in Mississippi, you show signs of it no matter where you the way, I happen to think of that as a compliment.

There are many things we use to identify things and where they are from. One of the more distinct ways I notice things is by their smell. Everyone knows certain smells go with certain things. For example, no one can mistake the smell of wet dog with anything else, and we can tell when we're around someone who has been smoking or drinking. Growing up, I worked at the local burger place and I could hardly wait to get home each night and wash away that "grease" smell. However, more pleasant smells are identifiable to us as well: the smell of a puppy, or of a little baby (sans dirty diaper of course), the smell of biscuits baking or of cake in the oven, the smell of rain, the smell of gardenias and magnolias, the smell of that store in the mall where they periodically spray the clothes with their signature scent, the smell of Daddy's shirt or Mama's perfume. Some smells simply make us want to linger, close our eyes and just experience them.

Therein lies the point of this blog.

In the Bible, it says that when Moses came down from the mountain after being with God he absolutely glowed, (paraphrased). We've all been around people who are like that....there is something about them that absolutely draws us to them. We want to linger. It's as if they carry the "scent" of being with the Father. Just by meeting them, you know - "they're not from around here." I'm not talking about words or phrases they use - anyone can mimic that. I'm talking about that indescribable something that draws us to them.

I've heard the quote, "they will know we are Christians by our love." What I wonder is, will they know Christ loves them by my life? Does my life bear the marks of being with the Father? Will they be drawn to Christ because of the unmistakeable scent in my life that only comes because I've spent time with Him. Will they want to linger and find out how to have that same aroma of love in their lives? Will they discover that our Father God isn't someone to run from, but to run to?

Will I stand out from the moment they come in contact with me? Will something in my life say that this is not my home....that I "ain't from around here"? If not, then I guess I need to spend more time with Him.

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