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A Heavenly Scent

In some cultures, the wearing of 'floral' adornments is quite commonplace. Leis or garland wreaths for the head are part of both the Polynesian and some Asian culture. In the islands, they use this as a welcome gift. They are worn at weddings and ceremonies. Natural flower petals and leaves of the area are gathered and then worked into a beautiful display of the most divine smelling adornment.  In a sense, these flowers are like "garland" - adorning the visitor with beauty and anointing them with the aroma of the beautiful flora of the region. In scripture, there are times when 'adornment' is spoken of as being 'garlanded' by some form of interwoven vine, foliage, or even flowers. God has a type of "garland" he would like us to adorn ourselves with that definitely leaves a 'heavenly scent' in one's life. That garland? Grace!

Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live! Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch! Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won't regret it; never let her go—she'll make your life glorious. She'll garland your life with grace, she'll festoon your days with beauty. (Proverbs 4:4-9)

To be "garlanded" with grace suggests being encircled with grace. As a child of the King, we are 'garlanded' or 'adorned'. Buy wisdom and forage for understanding. Interesting words - buy and forage. In translation these are written as "get" and "develop". Either way, both words are suggestive of action - no sense of inactivity or passivity is displayed in either of the terms. When one goes off to "buy" something, there is first an investment - one has to have something with which to complete the transaction. When we think of wisdom, we are thinking of the person of Christ. God is simply reminding us of the importance of bringing our whole self into the relationship - being willing to lay down self in order to obtain wisdom. It isn't that we are 'buying' wisdom as much as it is that we are yielding ourselves, much as is the custom when receiving a lei in the Polynesian islands. One bends slightly while the one doing the adorning bestows the garland, symbolizing a great deal of respect and honor.

To forage, one has to invest a whole lot of work into searching. This reminds us of the effort we need to apply in gaining wisdom and understanding. It is one thing to be given an object; quite another to "uncover" it by diligent seeking. To get or develop also implies some type of effort on our part. I don't believe God is implying that we get wisdom (Christ) by any effort of our own, but that we are willing to make the investment into the relationship which will cause us to grow in grace - grace bestowed and then we see it develop more and more until that 'heavenly scent' of grace begins to permeate all of our being. When we do our part (seeking with our whole hearts, committing the word to memory, and staying on course), look at what we can count on in return. Wisdom will guard our lives - her oversight will never be missing. This gives me hope because I know my tendency to wander without purpose. Wisdom (Christ) gives me purpose and his oversight provides me with all I need in order to walk uprightly.

Nothing adorns the life of a believer quite like the "aroma" of grace - it is indeed a 'heavenly scent'. Did you ever stop to think about grace having an aroma? Well it does! There is something divine in grace - and divinity exudes an aroma of forgiveness, love, compassion, and long-suffering. The "aroma" we exude is in direct comparison to that which we allow to "adorn" our lives. If it is the Spirit of God's grace, we can count on a heavenly aroma being exuded from our lives, stimulating the spiritual senses of all those around us! Just sayin!

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