Life’s Lessons


Keep a sweet aroma

By Helen Guilford



It really is time to part with it. I’ve enjoyed it so much, I just hate to see it go! An Easter lily I purchased a few days before Easter, when they were already on sale. I got it for half price! Half the price, twice the pleasure!

I brought it home, watered it, and found a place in the living room where it could flourish and I could truly enjoy it. One bloom was almost fully open and, over the next few days, another opened in time for Easter. At one time all four blossoms were in some state of actually blooming, with the first beginning to wilt and the fourth striving to make itself showy like the rest.

One thing was lacking, however. Remember when Easter lilies emitted such a sweet, distinctive scent? Whatever happened to that?

When eventually I pulled out the little plastic stake with care instructions, I had to smile. These were the instructions – “WHEREABOUTS: My ideal location is near a window but protected from direct sunlight.” (Check) “SIMPLY: Enjoy me indoors. Then, as weather permits, plant me outdoors in a protected area.” (Will do.) “INSPIRATION: My fragrant blooms are intoxicating.” (Oh?)

Having missed the fragrance from years past, I stuck my nose down into the bloom once again. Disappointment! No fragrance!

Several years ago, after I first moved back to Ohio, I also purchased an Easter lily. I did all the right things and did finally plant it in my garden. The next spring, I was pleased to note my lily had survived the winter. It grew, developed, and got buds just as it should.

But, wait a minute! I planted an Easter lily. Those blooms are white. This bloom was yellow! Now, explain that if you can. It was my first year living at this location so maybe there had been other lilies planted. Yet, that didn’t seem like a viable explanation because this yellow one was exactly where I remembered planting mine the prior spring.

I thought perhaps a horticulturist had, in some way, forced a similar lily to give up its color for the season and be a stand-in for an Easter lily. I don’t know if that’s even possible. I only know my white Easter lily produced yellow blooms the next season and thereafter. This plant defaulted from its first calling. The beauty of the lily was there! No disappointment there.

I’m reminded that God must see our lives in much the manner I viewed this lily. It wasn’t up to standards.

We claim to be Christians, to love God. Then we do and say things contrary to His will.

Oh, sometimes, our lives show a spark of Christian love, but what about those other times when our lives look nice but fail to emit the fragrance expected of God’s children? I don’t mean that clean, after-a-shower scent. I mean the aura that should tell others we are children of the King.

The color of the blooms exhibited by our lives should be up to standard just like the welcoming fragrance. Though Easter lilies no longer emit that “intoxicating” fragrance, it should not be missing from our lives.

You will probably never know what impact your life has had – on your children, grandchildren, friends and strangers – but you have impacted many lives, either positively or negatively.

May our lives look and smell welcoming so others will be drawn to the Jesus we know and love. Also, so God can be pleased with our lives among our fellow mankind.

Keep a sweet aroma

By Helen Guilford

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