It is Saturday morning and I woke up much later than usual. My waking was a result of our puppy reminding me that she cannot open her crate door and put herself outside. These tasks accomplished, I went to the kitchen to boil water for a cup of tea and a bowl of instant oatmeal. My sleep pattern was disrupted this week by a medical emergency in the family (which is resolving nicely) so the cobwebs in my brain were thicker than usual.
In my fog and stupor, as I poured the water over the tea leaves and oatmeal, the combined aromas provided a pleasurable moment. The smell of the white tea and maple brown sugar oatmeal was delightful. I am often moving too quickly to find enjoyment in such simple things, shame on me for this. I must be more observant moving forward.
As I experienced the aromas, I recognized that the aromas and my ability to enjoy them are both gifts from God. I read James 1:17 recently which says, “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
I assume that those who claim there is no God would explain about how our DNA has evolved so that we associate smells with food which gives us sustenance so that we can keep our biological machine running. I am sure that research has been done on which part of the brain is stimulated by food smells and what chemicals the stimuli release into my body to trigger the enjoyment response. The biochemical process of enjoyment can be explained but does the understanding of the chemical and biological processes adequately answer the question “why?”
I assume that those who claim there is no God would think that my enjoyment of the aroma could be explained as nothing more than a programmed response to these stimuli. The question I ask is “who did the programming?” Is it just chance that we find enjoyment in the small things in life? Is my pleasure only a mechanical reaction to a mechanical process?
Or, could the enjoyment of aromas and other simple pleasures be clues that God provides to remind us of his existence and his goodness? Is this enjoyment a gift? I choose to believe it is.