Smelly Decisions

A newspaper story once related that a mother of eight from Darlington, Maryland, had been visiting next door. When she returned home, she went into the living room where she saw her five youngest children huddled in the center of the floor — on her new carpet — very much involved with something wiggly and squirmy. The perplexed mother looked closer. To her total dismay, she discovered that the children were gathered around a family of skunks.

In her horror she screamed, “Run, children, run!”

They did. Each child grabbed a skunk and ran.

I know I’ve sometimes made the same mistake. Instead of leaving a potentially smelly situation alone, I decided to run with it. Many of my problems have been the result of my own poor choices and bad judgment, though I may have been tempted to blame someone else. One such skunk I have run with was “the easy way” when there clearly was a “better way” which seemed too much trouble to bother with at the time. Another skunk I’ve run with was “instant gratification” — the I-want-it-now decision that I would be sure to regret in the long run. Another might be called “it’s too good to be true!” At a deep level I know that when it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But I  could have gone for it anyway.

I’ve made a lot of stinky decisions along the way, though I knew better. And I really can’t blame anyone or anything else. I got seduced by a cute, furry, little bundle of temptation which was actually nothing more than a skunk in disguise. And instead of running AWAY from it, I picked it up and made it mine. I ran WITH it.

I don’t know how often opportunity knocks, but temptations to make foul decisions bang on my door all day long. And smelly decisions make for smelly problems later on. A few little decisions, good or bad, can make a big difference in a life. Better to run from those skunks than with them.

Like me, have you ever run with skunks? Or the more important question is…if you’re running with one now, will you put it down? You will be glad you did, and you’ll have no one to blame for the sudden improvement but yourself.

And so, we pray: Father, I know I have made some very smelly decisions in my life, even though I thought I was doing the right thing… the expected thing. Help us to be able to recognize the skunks around us and walk away… run away from them. Amen.

Grace and Peace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: