By David Ramos
Today I shared with my students how as a child living in Brooklyn, I remember how my mother used to put Gardenias in the kitchen window. When the wind would blow, a wonderful fragrance would flood the house as I experienced waves of olfactory pleasure. The Gardenias took the wind and filtered its impetuousness, converting it and transforming the environment in its wake. It was a mother’s touch that remained indelibly marked in my mind. To this day the smell of Gardenias transports me to simpler times of joy, innocence and the memories of long summer days.
The topic in class was leadership and the point was that good leaders must possess positive attitudes. Those who possess positive attitudes have the ability to transform negatives into positives, find ways to work with difficult people, never lose the gleam in their eye or the joy in their spirit. How often have we wasted years of our life in bitterness over circumstances that are beyond our control, or over the memories of pain inflicted upon us by others? Are we fully aware of how our attitudes impact our spouses, our children, our colleagues and our congregations? Our attitudes create an environment and people will encounter whatever we are filled with, whether it is love, peace and joy or anger, hostility, or bitterness. Life is difficult, the wind will blow upon us all, but the difference is when the winds blow through the windows of our soul, will others encounter the scent of death or the fragrance of life?
“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.”
(II Corinthians 2:15 The Message)