The smell of Ashes

Few people would say that the smell of Ashes is something they enjoy. Ash is the aftermath of fire; the wood may penetrate a scent of warmth and comfort, but the ash is difficult to breathe in even  days after the flames submit. Although it is that very ash that was once breathing light to those around it, once consumed, the wood turns to ash. Yet given the right conditions, it is those small pieces of black earth that can produce another flame giving the ash it's very purpose.
This is not far from the truth in our own lives. Life brings challenges; this is inevitable. It is the response to those challenges that defines us. Jesus could have escaped the harsh wood he was laid upon if He wanted, yet He knew without the pain and wood-stained blood, He would not be able to rise above the ashes to save an entire humanity.
On ash Wednesday, I am reminded of the things in life, which at first smell make some recoil, but afterwards, a new path is opened to breathe in peace, grace, and love every day that we breathe. We are called to be the "aroma of Christ." No matter the ashes you've carried along the way, God made a way to turn those Ashes into light for a dark world.

As I reconsider what Ash Wednesday means, I also reflect upon the new scents that were not enjoyed in my life until now. Here are a few of my favorites:

~Cheerio breath
~Peanut butter fingers (not the candy, ten little appendixes)
~A&D ointment
~Johnson's baby lotion
~Freshly laundered pajamas
~The hair of a toddler (clean or dirty)
~The feet of a toddler (preferably clean)
~Cheerio breath.... yeah it has to be said again cause I love it!
~Reheated cold coffee at one in the afternoon (I'm not saying it's the best, but it makes me happy)

Instead of viewing the world through rose-colored glasses, view it clearly and let the ash become the kind of roses only God could design.