This past week I had to go to the mall. I know, I should know better but I thought I could sneak in, get what I needed and sneak out again. So much for my thoughts.
I wanted to purchase several tie chains for my neckties and searched every jewelry store and nobody had them. Finally, I ordered three online, which would be shipped free, (which always gets my attention) to the nearest store, which happened to be in the mall.
I do not like the mall and choose not to go there if I can help it. When in the mall I am usually very nervous and get confused and do not know which way I am going. Once I get in, I am not quite sure how to get out again. Everything seems to be contrived to confuse a person like myself.
Looking down at the ground while walking I became rather confused and I happen to turn into an open door.
My mall savvy is not sophisticated in the least. The door I turned into happened to be for the store Victoria’s Secret. I do not know who Victoria is, I did not know what the store was all about but when I got in the store I discovered Victoria’s Secret much to my great embarrassment.
That is exactly the reason I do not like going into the malls. They have places like this that a gentleman, such as Yours Truly, should never enter.
I am not sure how I got out of that store, all I can remember was a great deal of hilarious laughter thrown in my direction from inside. I just hope they did not recognize me. They probably did not, because I had all my clothes on.
It has been a long time since that incident and now I had to go and pick up my order. I put together a plan to sneak in very quietly, pick up my order and tiptoe out as quietly as I came in.
You know what they say about well-laid plans! Whether mine was well laid or not, it blew up in my face.
I did slip into the mall and found the store where my order was. I picked them up and quietly turned around and started for the door. How I got turned around is any man’s guess. Actually, I think I turned around too many times. For the next 15 minutes, I tried to find the way I came in so I could go out.
The trouble started when I hesitated. I stopped to try to get my bearings and in stopping a young woman approached me.
“How do you do today, sir,” she said most cheerfully.
I nodded and tried to get away as graciously as possible.
She would have none of it. “And how do you smell today, sir?”
Had I been in my right sense of mind I would have told her I smelled with my nose. Being in a confused state of affairs, I had no quick come back for her. It was then that she introduced me to her product.
I must confess I am not up-to-date with all of the body lotions and perfumes that are available today. I shave in the morning, splash some aftershave on my face, rub some deodorant under my armpits and that is as far as I go.
This young woman took me for a potential customer of her body lotions and ointments and perfumes. I suppose many people are concerned with how they smell. I am not one of them.
My basic philosophy along this line is simply, if I cannot stand my own smell, I take a shower. I know when it is time to take a shower when I can smell myself.
She wanted to introduce me to some body lotions and ointments and perfumes that would make me smell alluring to anybody I met during the day.
Personally, I do not have a “Bucket List” but if I did this would not be one of the items on it.
Trying to be polite, I informed the young woman I was late for an appointment and needed to get on right away.
“Oh,” she said very cheerfully, “this will not take long at all.”
With that said, and before I could process what she said, she began rubbing my face with body ointment or lotion of some sort. I froze and for a few moments, I could not even move. Even the little grey cells upstairs were shocked into a rare state of stillness.
“Now, you smell wonderful.”
It was at that time I retired with honor my gentlemanly manners and started running as fast as I could run without drawing too much attention to myself.
I smelled that “fragrance” for three days in spite of the fact that I took 17 showers in the meantime.
Sometimes our focus is always on the outside. I like what Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess” (Matthew 23:25).
It does not matter how good I smell on the outside if there is stench on the inside. I want to focus on my inside and make it as fresh as possible. That is the fragrance God smells.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.