This story was not to have been told, it was going to be my secret to the day I died. However, things do not always go the way you plan …
I had been up on our farm and had returned home. I walked into the house and said hi to my wife and she replied: “You smell like a skunk!” I had no idea the smell had come with me. Thus, I had to tell her the story.
I had been up to our farm and had been working outside most of the day. I came in for supper, did a few more things outside and then was working on my sermon, other ministerial items and personal items. I had heard noises a couple of times, but it is an old farmhouse and I hear noises all of the time. It was getting late; I was dozing off at my laptop and I thought I might as well go to bed. I was exhausted. I realized then that I had left my CPAP in the truck. So, I started to go through the garage to go outside when I heard a noise (my truck was not in the garage). I looked out the door window and there was a skunk in the garage. I didn’t realize that someone had left a 5-gallon bucket of bear bait in the garage, and I had left the garage door open. The skunk found it and was eating away.
What do I do? Please understand, I could have gone outside through two other doors, but I was focused on going to bed and not thinking straight. Plus, I was tired. Thus, I did what seemed, at the time, the rational thing to do. I didn’t want to startle the skunk and have it spray the garage and me, so I decided I would get a .22 and shoot it. I got the .22, slowly opened the door to the garage, aimed and “Kaboom.” Yep, there was an explosion and a projectile banging and whistling around the garage. I hit the ground fast and hard, confident that I had just shot myself.
Finally, it was quiet, and I didn’t feel any pain and could not find that I was bleeding anywhere, so a huge sigh of relief came over me. Then the thinking began. What was that skunk eating to explode like that? I was perplexed.
I got up, went into the garage, and no skunk. This made me nervous, so I anxiously looked around for the skunk and found it laying under the UTV, all in one piece. There was a little bit of a smell, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Then I tried to solve the mystery and finally pieced it all together. This is what I surmised …
Earlier, I had put a little bit of gas in a small metal can to burn some brush, but the wind had picked up so I didn’t burn the brush pile, putting the can back in the garage. When I shot, the bullet went through the skunk, hitting the can of gas which caused a spark, setting the gas on fire and sending the can caroming around the garage. Thus, everything turned out to be ok, other than the demise of the skunk. However, the skunk did get its revenge!
The skunk had sprayed a little bit but not bad so I left the garage door open (put the bait pail outside) and thought it would air out. The next morning, I smelled it a little bit in the house but didn’t think it was bad so I went about doing things around the farm.
Then I headed home and walked into the house and I hear: “You smell like a skunk!”
What observations can I make from this story? First, if you hang around with skunks, be assured that at least a little bit of the smell will rub off on you!
Second, sometimes life will seem to explode in front of you and all around you. That is life! But it may not always be as bad as it seems. We need to take a breath, pause, reassess and say a prayer and ask for the Lord to guide us through. Sometimes it may take a while to get through as it may linger for a while but eventually, we will get through.
Finally, when we are tired or upset it is best to pause and think things through or we may end up doing something irrational. You may come up with a better idea, or maybe find another option or maybe just let things settle down. In all of this, it is best to ask for God’s guidance rather than trusting our own judgement.
God bless and God’s got this!