I think by now we’ve all seen the Fabreze commercials about not being noseblind. It’s a unique term and the various scenarios in which persons find themselves “noseblind” are quite funny. I hadn’t thought much about this until I met a new friend here in Texas who uses the flameless candle wax melts. Whenever I go to her home it always smells so good! It got me wondering what my home smells like to others when they walk in. What am I noseblind too?
Afraid of what I would find, I too have joined the flameless candle bandwagon, though the generic kinds so Ben can pre-approve sents 😉 Though I can’t say for sure what our home smelled like before – probably a combination of Italian spices, windex, diapers, dog and muddy shoes (who wants to come visit now?) – but I couldn’t smell it. I was noseblind. Now, however, I’m learning to pay closer attention to the whole issue.
With the wax melts, I have learned, is that you don’t want to keep them on all day. You really only need an hour or two in the morning and again in the evening. Also, after about a week or so, you will not notice the scent as much. This isn’t because the wax is losing its scent, it’s because you are going noseblind to it. Time to change up your scents!
How much of life goes the same way. Your workout routine is boring, your diet is unappetizing, your housework is stale, your prayer life is arid. It’s time to change up your scents, your routines. There is beauty in habit and structure, but sometimes we go noseblind, life-blind. This happens even in our prayer lives. Dare I say, especially in our prayer lives.
In the last 6 months, how many of the following have you done or tried to do?:
- Sat in a different seat at Mass or attended Mass at a different time than your usual routine
- Told someone you are Catholic/engaged in healthy dialogue with another individual about your faith (the individual may or may not be Catholic)
- Learned a new prayer of the Church (like the Angelus, the Memorare, prayers for before or after Communion, etc.)
- Memorized a piece of Scripture
- Prayed as a family at a time other than before a meal
- Said a novena or engaged in some form of intercessory prayer for a long period of time (anything longer than a single instance of prayer)
- Made an intentional sacrifice for another person or cause
- Gone to Confession
- Learned about a new saint
- Read a book that deepened your spiritual and/or theological knowledge
0-2: You could be noseblind in your faith. Your habits are well ingrained and could use some shaking up. If you feel like your faith is in a stagnant place or that God isn’t close, consider trying out one or more of the ideas above to stir things up and discover new fervor and focus.
3-5: Depending on who you are and what things you’ve tried, you may or may not be noseblind. This one is more subjective based on your personal habit patterns and faith life. Are the things you said “yes” to experiences that stretched your faith, or are they part of your typical lived faith? If you were stretching yourself, then you probably aren’t noseblind. If they are part of your normal, you might still reflect on whether your faith life needs some stirring up.
6-8: Wow, I would be pretty confident in saying you are not noseblind. You are actively engaging in your faith, rather than walking through the motions. There is always more we can do to deepen our relationship with God, but it would seem that you have found a variety of opportunities to see Him and grow in your love for Him.
9-10: Amazing! There is no way you are noseblind. You are engaging your faith at all levels, finding God in Scripture, Mass, community, the Sacraments, intellectual knowledge and spiritual knowledge. You must be consistently seeking new ways to grow in your faith and share it.
I hope you found this exercise interesting. I know it was enlightening for me to come up with these categories and answers and realize just how easy it is to become noseblind in our faith.
What other ideas do you have for keeping faith fresh and at the forefront of our daily thoughts and actions?