Last month Sara, Carson and I were in our TV room when we began to pick up on the smell of a skunk.  I wasn’t too concerned by it, every now and then one will pass through our neighborhood looking for an easy meal from a trash can or dog dish, so it wasn’t a big deal.  We were getting a kick out of Carson pinching his nose and informing us every 3.7 seconds that skunks smell terrible, when we began to realize  that the ominous odor wasn’t fading as usual but was getting worse.  So being the responsible provider and protector of my family that I am, I put on my manly persona and out the door I went to investigate.  As I walked out the front door and onto our sidewalk I noticed that Sara was coming behind me and I almost asked her to go back inside and wait until I had cleared the area of any present danger, but noticing the opportunity to show off some of my “man skills” I said nothing and continued the important task of finding our smelly guest.   This decision would prove to be beneficial to my well being.

After a quick look around the front of my property I decided that it would be wise to check out the cellar style basement that is under the old part of our house.    The entrance to this basement is covered by a long heavy door that lays over the stairwell.  With Sara standing on the sidewalk, weak in the knees from my brave, testosterone rich search for the stinky beast, I heaved the door from its resting place and shined my flashlight down the stairwell.   What happened next sends chills down my spine to this very day.  There laying at the bottom of the stairs was a skunk.   Time stood still.  Images of my life passed before my eyes.  OK, maybe that’s stretching it a bit, but it was an intense moment to say the least and it was about to get worse.  As my brain raced at supersonic speed trying to find a solution to this dilemma my wife let out a blood curling scream and as I glanced down,  there within inches of my feet, was another skunk.  All my manliness went out the window as I stared down the business end of that black and white stink machine.  I dropped the door and ran like Forrest Gump.   In case you don’t know, skunks don’t care for loud noises such as basement doors slamming over their heads.  When that door slammed he let off a vile cloud of toxic fumes the likes of which I have never smelled before.  This stench was then sucked in to our central air conditioning unit which sets in the new part of the basement and was promptly distributed throughout the house turning our once quiet and peaceful home into a den of wretched misery.

If I had space and time I would chronicle my heroic war on these vile beasts and my efforts to reclaim the property that was rightly mine.  I would also detail all the  home remedies and concoctions that we brought to bear on the situation and tell you which ones killed the smell and which ones about killed us, but I’ll have to save that for later perhaps.

I do want to let you in on this part of the story and hopefully bring this to an inspirational thought for today.  In the flurry of activity that followed I discovered that the family of skunks had made their way in through a small hole under the old part of the house that led through a crawlspace and ultimately into the cellar/basement.  I haven’t been in the back yard much this summer and didn’t even notice that the holes were there, but obviously the skunks did.

We took care to lock our doors.  We made sure that our windows were locked and sealed up tight.  But while we were locking our doors and keeping our windows shut,  there in the back part of our home was an opening that I didn’t realize simply because I failed to pay attention this summer to that part of our property.

The pastor in me is constantly on the look out for the next sermon, and through all of this I couldn’t help but think about the “skunks of life”  that we all have to deal with.  Now you are probably thinking that I inhaled too many fumes throughout this ordeal, but think about it.  All of us know that there are some nasty things out there that can really stink up our families, our careers, our happiness.  These skunks are roaming around just looking for an opening into our lives and it doesn’t take much of an opening to allow them in.

So the meat of this blog post is simply this;  IS YOUR LIFE SKUNK PROOF?  What weak areas can you identify that the smelly things of life can sneak into and set up residence?  Have you examined your marriage lately?   Do your kids know for sure that you love them and you believe in them 100%?  Is your quiet time with God on track?

My encouragement for you today is to examine your life.  Don’t leave anything to chance.  I have learned this important lesson:  IT IS FAR EASIER TO SEAL UP HOLES THAN IT IS TO DRIVE OUT SKUNKS.

Be blessed and as always, I’m praying God’s best for you.