Each morning, Jan walks into our living room where I sit in my writing chair. As a ritual, I rise and hug her, my face pressed into the right side of her neck. I kiss her and take in her fragrance. We always linger in our embrace. It seems to reset our life before the day begins. As I write, I anticipate her arrival.
Something beautiful happens when the chemistry of perfume is expressed in human biology. A reaction occurs in the mixture. When applied, the perfume takes on a uniqueness possessed only by the person wearing the perfume. It becomes their fragrance in the application. I could be blindfolded and smell thousands of necks and know Jan's fragrance above all the rest.
Our faith must have this uniqueness of expression and intimacy. Without it, we will fall back on a cold and passionless thing called religion. In religion, there is no relationship to carry a fragrance. No place of intimacy, no one to hug. Just hard positions and lines drawn in the sand. Passion and intimacy are not valued because they cannot be measured or promoted, only received and enjoyed. This is why our journey of faith if it is to remain healthy and vibrant, will require a constant returning to a place of intimacy with God. In fact, the consistent rediscovery of intimacy is the only thing that will ensure our long-term wholeness as spiritual beings. It is our map for life and the course corrector for our future.
Each of us carries the fragrance of a broken jar of costly perfume. The nard of a shared intimacy with God was poured into our hearts when we became one with Christ. As Jesus reclines in our hearts at the table of our fellowship and we pour our acts of love upon Him, He tells the religionists to leave us alone just as He told the betrayer of intimacy 2,000 years ago when he complained about the extravagance of love poured out upon Jesus describing it as a waste.
Follow the fragrance of intimacy with God. The source of that beautiful perfume will answer all your questions and show you the way forward.