Thursday, July 15, 2010

Smells on the bus

A few months ago, Brian and I were asked to lead a group of 7th graders on a mission trip to San Antonio. Along with one other male leader, we pulled out of the parking lot this past Sunday with 12 of them in tow. They were asked to pack a lunch for the trip down from Dallas. They all complied, but most brought along some other snacks. Here are a few of the items I saw:

Terriayki Beef Jerky
Goldfish (pizza and cheddar flavored)
Sour Patch Kids
Laffy Taffy
Ranch Sunflower Seeds
Bazooka Gum
Chocolate Milk
Fudge Stripe Cookies
Fruit Snacks
White Cheddar Popcorn
Peanut Butter Crackers
Cheddar Pringles
Cool Ranch Doritos

I'm sure you can just imagine the smell of our bus--it was interesting, to say the least. Normally, I think having all those smells combined would have made me want to hurl, but it didn't. Maybe because I could see 12 smiling faces the whole way. Maybe because I could sense their anticipation and feel their excitement. Maybe because the Dramamine I took dulled my sense of smell. :) I am choosing to believe it was because I KNEW I was embarking on something so much bigger than myself and a few interesting smells along the way weren't going to change my destination.

Isn't that so true of life? We do life with people who are a weird mixture sometimes (hopefully not as weird as the smell of Cool Ranch Doritos with Terriayki Beef Jerky--but you get my point). Sometimes it's not the people we would choose to be with, but the combination, while interesting, can also help lead us to things we would never have done if we had just stayed with the people who looked and smelled like us. As long as the destination is the same, isn't it worth it to have a few interesting smells?

I pray that I am open to new smelly combinations in my everyday life (although, I don't think I want to see Ranch-flavored sunflower seeds and chocolate milk side by side for a while).