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Something Stinketh

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Something Stinketh

A funny way to start this post, but something near our bathroom stinks! It’s not in the bathroom, or who is in the bathroom, but in the foyer outside of it. Last night would’ve been a good time for my wife to take a picture as I crawled around on all fours trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. We’ve moved furniture, sniffed walls, looked under, around, beside items and cannot find the source of the stench. In the bathroom foyer, there is a door to my workshop and Beth thinks this may be where it’s coming from. When there is an odor you cannot ignore it and it can be hard to do anything else because the smell is distracting. It seems to permeate your nostrils and locating and removing it is the only solution.

Wisdom teaches us about the stench of others’ attitudes, motives, and words. When someone in our lives is the source of the stench there are a few options. We can air out our grievances with the other and see if we can eliminate them. Perhaps we can, after trying other options, remove the “smelly” person or ourselves from the current workspace. If forced, we can find somewhere else to work. Friends with foul attitudes can be confronted and distanced from if needed. Family members are harder but can be done with sensitivity and a willingness to create space between ourselves and someone whose odor infiltrates our lives.

Our time on this planet is too short to be connected to those who refuse to work on their attitude’s aroma. We also want to make sure and do a “smell test” on ourselves and make any adjustments as well.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Smoldering

Smoldering

On Saturday afternoon I burned a pile of branches, old newspapers, and other miscellaneous items. The smell of the ashes and leftover debris lingered in the air the next day. I had forgotten to grab an old wooden rocking chair out of the reading room which also needed to be disposed of. When I noticed it Sunday afternoon I wondered if the smoldering ash would still be hot enough to do anything. I took the chair out, broke it into several pieces and put some under the coals, which were still a faint orange, and put the rest in a pile on top. I checked it after a while and noticed the smoke had increased. About an hour later the wood was ablaze with a good flame. It didn’t take long to consume it once the fire restarted. Not too long afterward the chair was gone.

I wrote last week about the struggles I have when February rolls around. Many years have passed but the layers of hurt, anger, and uncertainty still lay buried, ready to ignite when fuel is added. What I try to do, instead of dwelling on the past, is not feed the flames. When I am aware and notice my mind drifting back to the place of pain I find a place to breathe. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I remind myself of the truth that I cannot change the past but I can be present in the now. Does it always work? No. Does it work? Yes. Maybe one day I will be healed, maybe not, but I don’t want to give up on living today because of the difficulties of yesterday.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

What Do You Smell?

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What Do You Smell? –

Yesterday morning I ironed a shirt for Beth to wear to work. This particular shirt was given to my wife by a friend who passed away several years ago. However, even after all this time, the shirt still smelled like our friend. The fragrance immediately brought back nice memories of her kindness, joy, love and grace-filled life. It’s amazing what smells can trigger. I have another friend who had a rough childhood and the smell of certain foods triggers terrible memories. Scientists say smell is one of the major components of remembering the past.

I’ve thought about the shirt Beth wore yesterday and I ask myself; “What would someone think of if a smell triggered a memory?  What smells would remind others of me?” One of the central lessons of wisdom is that everything we do leaves an imprint upon another. Good or bad, negative or positive, our lives leave a fragrance to those around us.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Craving

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Craving

I had a surprise waiting for me in my workshop this morning. On a table where odds and ends are kept is a pail with a plastic top that’s full of rat poison. We’ve had a wet summer and this might be the reason the rats are keeping near the house. Whatever the reason I don’t want these varmints in or near us. Several weeks ago I bought the rat poison and placed some in strategic areas of the workshop. Since then I’ve found two bodies so I know it’s working. However, today, to my shock the lid of the pail with the poison had been eaten through and there was a rat size hole! I took the lid off and much of the poison had been nibbled on along with rat feces. Yuck!

I’m not sure why it was a surprise to me except that I knew it was poison. The whole point is that the rats smell something which entices them to eat. They have no idea its poison. To them, it simply tastes good. For me, knowing it’s poison means I wear gloves when I open it, place it in the desired area, and seal it tightly when finished. I wash my hands after I am anywhere near the stuff. The difference between me and the rat is I know it kills.

I reflected on this today as I finished up the yard work and came inside. Many of the things we crave; attention, respect, fortune, fame, come with a high price. Wisdom teaches us to not get caught up in the cravings. From our point of view, we wonder; “What’s the harm?” but from those who know, it’s a truth which could save our lives.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Aroma

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Aroma

I drove to the dump today on my way to a meeting. When I opened the door the stench of heat, humidity and heaps of garbage smacked me in the face. As quick as I could I deposited my trash into the container and left. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a dump in the middle of July. I’ve lived in a lot of places but the dumps in July seem to share the same aroma no matter where I’m at. To put it delicately, they all have an unpleasant smell, or they stink!

I was talking with someone this week about unpleasant people and the way they try our nerves, disturb our stillness and negatively impact our lives. We all have those people in our life, those folks whose attitude, demeanor, demands and difficult ways give off an unpleasant aroma.

How we handle these foul folks reveal more about us than they do the other person. It’s easy to respect someone who respects us, compliment those who say nice things, return kind gestures and empathize with those who care. However, for the ones who stink it’s easier to get in and out of their presence as quickly as possible and avoid if doable.

To respect, speak kindly, act generously and care for these smelly ones takes a conviction in the deepest part of ourselves that gracious, grace-giving, living isn’t about the other person, it’s about who we are and want to be.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Recharge

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Recharge

Today is Holy Saturday. The Master is dead. Hope is gone. Failures are many. All that’s left is silence and the stench of death in a dark tomb.

I went to the dump today and had to take some cardboard to a special container. The big enclosed metal holder was almost empty and dark. I had to take the pieces of cardboard to the back of the container and when I came out of the dark, smelly thing I thought of Jesus leaving the tomb.

On my way home from the refuse and recycling center, which takes me down a long isolated road, a man signaled me to stop and stated that he needed a “jump-start” to his truck. He had been working since early and had forgotten to turn his lights off. We hooked up the cables, waited a while, tried a few times that didn’t work and finally, his battery was charged with enough power to bring his engine back to life.

I thought of Jesus, the Light of all lights and how he had given all his light to those who would extinguish it.I wondered what happened in the empty tomb. Did God the Father have some sort of spiritual “jumper cables” and shock his Son back to life? Or did he gently breathe new life into him like he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden?

Holy Saturday. A day of disappointment. A day of fear. A day after and a day before.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Leaving a Mark

roadkill

Leaving a Mark

If I were mayor of our town for a day I would rename a section of road a few miles from our house; “Road Kill Way.” Over the past several weeks the temperatures have been significantly above normal, the varmints are out in force and some of them apparently aren’t looking both ways before they cross the road.  I’ve seen rabbits, squirrels, armadillos, possums, foxes, and skunks. Way too many skunks. The rest of the unfortunate animals don’t leave the trace the skunks leave. You smell them coming and going. It’s an unmistakable odor. If I remember in time, I hold my nose, if not I am quick to catch my breath once I catch the scent.

Trying to dodge the leftover animal parts today I thought about the road of life and how dangerous it can be navigating our way. I decided I want to go out like the skunk! I want to leave a mark and for people to know, unmistakably, that I was there.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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What’s that Smell?

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She sat across from me eating a wonderfully messy sandwich. The smell was fabulous and it caused my stomach to grumble loudly. She told me the name but all I heard was chicken and bacon as my mouth moistened. The aroma wafted through the air and I could practically taste it. Finally, after what seemed like hours, she finished her meal and the smell lessened until it was gone.

My lunch was an egg salad wrap. It wasn’t bad but paled in comparison to the scrumptious, hearty entrée that delighted my senses earlier.

As I thought of the sandwich I also reflected upon our lives. Each life gives off an aroma. Some are pleasant, others not so much. One draws people while the next repels. Wisdom tells us to live our lives in such a way that they are pleasing to the senses causing those nearby to breathe deeply of their essence.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Do You Smell That?

Skunk on Rural Road at Night

The smell either hits you before you see it or you spot it and brace yourself for the pungent odor that is sure to follow. It is the unmistakable stench of a skunk that’s been hit by a vehicle, its last act of defiance to spread its “fragrance” on the road it wasn’t lucky enough to make across.

The other day my wife and I came upon the carcass of a dead skunk and my wife quickly covered mouth and nose with her shirt but because I was driving my hands weren’t free. Then, it hit us. “Whoa!” I said shaking my head as the stench filled the truck. Eyes watering, nose burning, I did my best to not inhale, trying to will my nostrils shut. “Is it gone?” Beth asked. “Not yet. Hold on. It’s still in here!” were the only sentences I could muster. Finally the offensive aroma diminished and we both took deep gulps of fresh air.

I’ve come across people who give others the same reaction as the deceased polecat. Folks with rotten attitudes, judgmental spirits, bitter, angry individuals whose fragrance seems to permeate the places they go and the people they encounter. Being in their presence is difficult. You’re tempted to hold your nose when coming near them for fear of breathing in their noxious and infectious disposition.

It’s easy to dislike, avoid, dismiss these caustic people with whom we share the road of life. We look for a detour or hope they take another way or just go away. Wisdom teaches us that good can be found in every difficult person and difficult season. Life’s path brings us to unplanned encounters and unwanted traveling companions but these burdensome, divine?, periods of struggle with others reveal truths about our own particular pungency.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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