Didi lived down the street from me when I was a kid and she had honeysuckle vines in her backyard. I loved the smell and loved getting to eat the flowers. It was a really nice childhood memory. 30 plus years later, I came across a beautiful smell in the air when taking an evening stroll and I thought “there must be a honeysuckle vine nearby!” It had been so long since those days of honeysuckle in the backyard I couldn’t even remember for sure what they looked like but because I had no other frame of reference for the strong yet sweet fragrance, I had undoubtedly decided this was honeysuckle I was smelling. And for awhile all of my walks were filled with the smell of sweet honeysuckle.
Until one day someone I was walking with corrected me and explained the flower I was smelling wasn’t honeysuckle at all. It was jasmine. All this time! They have some similarities and both emit a stronger fragrance at night but they are actually two different species. And while the petals of the honeysuckle are edible, jasmine can be quite toxic to humans if ingested. And I wondered… in how many other areas of my life am I believing I am enjoying the sweet nectar of honeysuckle all the while I am ingesting toxic jasmine petals?
Have I mistaken lust for love? Acceptance from others as self worth? Have I misinterpreted setbacks as failure? And looked at my emotions as a compass? The smell of honeysuckle tends to pop up in areas filled with immaturity or painful past experiences. It may be where there is incomplete information or in areas that are in need of the most growth. And this is where it’s important that on my evening strolls, I’m walking with Someone who knows the difference.
I thought I knew what was around me
I thought I recognized the smell
But truly I was mistaken
All this time I couldn’t tell
But the One right beside me
Began pointing out the truth
He corrected me and taught me
All the things I’d misconstrued
So now as I am walking
I make sure He’s close by
To teach in each new fragrance
What is truth and what’s a lie
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.