I have always been a dog lover. I have always been blessed with good dogs. But all that changed in 1998. That is when Bubba came into my life. Then, a few years later, Ebony joined our family. Bubba and Ebony – those are their names. But that is not how my family and close friends know them. They are more famously known as "The Village Idiots". Now you may be wondering why, as a self-proclaimed dog lover, I would call my dogs such an offensive nickname. Let me assure you, they have earned their title. They are both very smart animals, but there is one lesson they have never grasped. And that very important lesson is this – do not corner a skunk!
After their first "skunking" I felt confident they had learned their lesson. I knew I had. It’s one thing to catch a waft of skunk aroma as you drive down the road. It’s another thing altogether to have 2 fifty-five pound dogs barrel into your home after taking a "direct hit". The odor permeates everything. And whatever they come in contact with has to be "de-skunked" as well, including the unfortunate human who has to clean them. So after this unfortunate incident had passed, I felt sure the lesson had been learned, especially due to the fact that the dogs endured some pain as a result of being sprayed in the eyes by the skunk. Imagine my surprise when 3 weeks later they were skunked again! I was dumbfounded. How could they make the same mistake again? Didn’t they learn anything the first time? The entire process was repeated to remove the obnoxious odor from all it had permeated again.
So were 2 episodes of getting skunked enough to earn the nickname "The Village Idiots"? Probably not, but my dogs didn’t get skunked twice. The magic number for these dogs is 6. Yes, you read that correctly – 6. The last episode occurred just two weeks ago. Now the nickname was bestowed on them at skunking episode 3. But their good favor with me just expired two weeks ago. I have been patient. I have forgiven. I have scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed… I have scrubbed my floors, furniture, walls, clothes, the dogs and myself time after time to be rid of their obnoxious odor. But not anymore; on that Wednesday night 2 weeks ago, I did not scrub my dogs. I tied them outside by their doghouses and that is where they have stayed. I scrubbed myself and the clothes I was wearing, but I decided that night to never allow their odor to rub off on me again. If they refuse to learn their lesson, fine. They can live with the smell, but I refuse to.
How many times do we, as Christians, get "skunked" by life? My dogs have a weakness for a member of the weasel family with a white stripe down its back. There are days when I feel like one of the "Village Idiots". I know what my personal "skunk" is. What is your weakness? Is it a bad tempera; tendency to gossip? What is the one thing you find yourself asking God to forgive you for over and over again? If you’re like me, you have more than one "skunk" to pray about. But how blessed we are! God doesn’t send us to the doghouse and wash His hands of us. Instead, He lovingly forgives us and washes our sins away. "Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight". Romans 4:7 (NLT) So the next time something in life "skunks" you, don’t be discouraged. Take it to God! He will wash it away.
May God Bless You!
Donnis L. Lloyd