Last week, Dahl decided to fry a few pieces of jeprox–one of our favorite dried fish from the Philippines. If you have never had a meal of jeprox, fried rice, salted egg and vinegar, I would say that you are one of the most deprived people in the world! Just looking at the picture on the left makes me want to raid our precious stash of jeprox.
However, frying jeprox could be problematic in our apartment complex. First, apartment units are close to each other that it is easy to smell what’s cooking in your neighbor’s kitchen. Second, our Costa Rican neighbors are not familiar with the smell of fried jeprox, which in just a few minutes, permeated into their living rooms.
Our next-door neighbor, Juan Carlos, was shocked by what he smelled. For him, it was so revolting that he thought that our apartment was on fire. He rang our doorbell and became increasingly concerned when no one responded. (Dahl was in the shower, while I was in the US.) Finally, after several minutes that seemed an eternity to Juan Carlos, Dahl answered the doorbell and assured him that what he was smelling was the delicious, albeit shocking, aroma of fried jeprox.
Understandably, what smells good to one people could smell terrible to another. The same is true with a Christian’s life. Apparently, our lives have some sort of aroma. The apostle Paul said:
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume… (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 NLT)
I am glad for the assurance that my life in Christ is a pleasing aroma to God, even if there are those who may regard my life as a stench to their nostrils. However, I believe that when these people taste and see the goodness of our God, their olfactory perception of a Christian’s life would change.
In the same way, once Juan Carlos learns to feast on fried jeprox, I am sure that he would learn to love its smell as well!