The fragrance of Christ

Last weekend, I had a great time at the USPRO championships in Philadelphia, PA. I was there as a Tour of Hope representative, and we were introduced on the winner’s circle stage. There were 50,000 spectating the races, and there was an expo area that everyone was visiting. Our Tour of Hope RV was right at the entrance of the expo area and lots of people were signing the cancer promise http://www.tourofhope.org/promise/index.php. It was so encouraging to see. For me the highlight of the weekend was not being up on stage, or being able to spectate some of the greatest bike racing in the U.S. For me the highlight was having the opportunity to connect with some old friends from my racing days.

Two of these friends were instrumental in helping me dig out of my egocentric ways and into a life lived for God. They were never pushy about their faith. They simply shared stories of how God worked in their life. It made an impact. When I was unable to recognize the source of their positive energy, when I was too blinded by my own problems to see that there is a world out there that needs help, their examples of living for Christ made a lasting impression on me. They were the fragrance of Christ for me.

Unfortunately and interestingly, both of them were tired and a little downtrodden when I saw them. One of these women was an Olympic hopeful, who had recently learned her shot at the 2004 Olympics was not to be. The other has faced a very difficult time launching Team Spirit this year, which was formed to serve Christ on the racing scene. Both felt like their work for God was not going the way it should, and they were both questioning their involvement with the racing scene. Both were having a hard time understanding God’s plan for their life. Both desired a life change that might bless them with a child.

From my perspective, I had to let them know that their lives and influence meant more to me than they could ever imagine. They have both served God very well in ways they were unaware of. They were the fragrance of Christ for me at a critical time that very likely made the difference for me to be saved or to perish.

This weekend, we held the first annual Blue Butterfly Family Fun Day. We had a gorgeous day. There were butterflies everywhere, and the events of the day went smoothly for the most part. I felt as though God and Bennett were shining down on us. We did not have the turnout for our mountain bike race that we had hoped for, and when the proceeds for the day were counted, we realized that we did just a little better than breaking even. We knew this was a possibility going into the event, and we figured that even if all we did was increase public awareness about the Fund it would be worth the time and energy (enormous) that went into planning, organizing, and running an event like this. However, at the end of the day, I was puzzled at how the Blue Butterfly Fund could support its missions if we could not host a financially successful fundraising event. As I was driving in to meet up with mother and aunt who came all the way from Georgia to help us with the Blue Butterfly Family Fun Day, a peace came over me. There was a beautiful sunset, and God told me two things. “Do what you do best”…write a weekly devotional and communicate with parents of children with cancer. “And don’t try so hard.” I would never worry about money to support myself, but here I was worrying about money to support the Blue Butterfly Fund even though God has provided the money we needed just as we needed from the very beginning.

When I got to Lewisburg it was after 9:00pm (last week time lost all meaning for me), I was telling my mother and aunt about how our proceeds for the day did not turn out so great, and they had a surprise for me. My cousin and my aunt had organized a benefit concert for the Blue Butterfly Fund in Georgia. They raised over $500 and my mother, aunt, and uncle donated another $1000 to the Fund because they sold a family held property. I was in totally amazement. God is so amazing. Just when I was feeling very concerned for the financial status of the Blue Butterfly Fund, God lets me know that He will always provide. Once again, God lifts my spirits and builds my trust that all will be exactly as it is meant to be.

My cousin, aunt, uncle and mom could never really understand how important their work for God has been for me. And so it is with most of us. We are never fully aware of the work we are doing for God. We are the fragrance of Christ to many. Most of the time we are unaware of the impacts we are making. When we begin to question our role or feel disappointed by our own accomplishments, we must continue to trust that God’s accomplishments are all that matters. We need to find what we do best, and do it the best we can. We need to love everyone regardless of their beliefs. We need to be open and reach out to those in need. In this way, the fragrance of Christ wafts to all the reaches of this world.


“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” - 2 Corinthians 2:15


“When we throw ourselves into religious activities without having made our life one of prayer, we run into danger. Our days and nights are filled with teaching or printing a newsletter, working in an outreach program or a food bank, and inner city rehabilitation project or on lobbying efforts. We feel we are doing the Lord’s work, and perhaps we are. But we will never know unless we take the time to listen to his voice and be certain we are following his promptings and not ambitious ones that start in self. We must always ask ourselves whether we are working to please God or to satisfy our own need for achieving results.” –Judith C. Lechman


Father, we are an ambitious group. We want to serve you well. We busy our lives with plans and schemes that we attempt in order to bring you glory. Yet, by simply living a life that brings us closer to you through prayer and doing what we do best thanks to the gifts you have given us, we bring you the greatest glory. We are the aroma of Christ, and Your scent is a fresh reminder of the love you have for us all. Amen.


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