Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two Scents of Grace

I have two favorite perfumes that I like equally but recognize they are appropriate for different uses and occasions. Both are from the Philosophy line of products and both have appealing names, Inner Grace and Amazing Grace.

Inner Grace is a subtle scent that, in the company’s own words, “is your own personal heaven and was formulated with a scent to help bring peace and balance to your life.”

Amazing Grace, on the other hand, is a more vibrant, floral scent that “allows a woman to embrace her beauty and express her femininity. Finally people will say "you smell so good" instead of "what is that perfume you're wearing?”

Both scents are filled with grace, but different kinds. As I was preparing for my day last week, and mulling over one of my recent lessons from my Celebrate Recovery Step Study, I couldn’t help but realize the connection between these fragrances and lessons throughout the Step Study.

In lesson 20, which reflects on Step 10, we learn about taking a Daily Inventory of ourselves, as well as the importance of making amends immediately for wrongs. Throughout the lesson, study participants are asked to identify the message in several verses. At first I thought it was overly repetitive that a majority of the verses all had the same basic to glean: wisdom combined with a peaceful heart creates less situations where amends are even necessary. (For those who aren’t to this step yet, don’t stop reading. This is a good lesson for everyone! The verses, by the way, are Proverbs 16:23, Eph 4:29, Prov 16:21, Prov 12:25 and 1 Cor 13:1).

I later realized though, that the repetitive nature of the lesson just drove home the point that this idea is true—a calm spirit and wisdom combine together to all for more peaceful interactions with others and with ourselves.

This, to me, is just like the fragrance Inner Grace. It’s all about softness, subtlety and balance.

But what about Amazing Grace? Where does that fit in? We’ve all heard the song Amazing Grace and many have heard the Chris Tomlin rendition that talks about the chains being gone from our lives. I can’t think of anything more appropriate to describe the first two steps in the Step Study, which are essentially realizing we can’t fix ourselves and we have to submit to God’s will and power. It takes an Amazing God, with an Amazing Grace, to not only be willing to do something like that, but to have the power. It’s like the fragrance—explosive with beauty yet not overbearing. According to this perfume’s description, its scent draws people to the wearer. Well doesn’t God’s Amazing Grace draw us to him?

Just as I value both fragrances equally but for different purposes, I realize that Inner Grace and God’s Amazing Grace are both important and vital to this road to recovery and our Christian walk.

Jamie, CR attendee

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