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The Parable of the Preacher and the Skunk

Upon on the side of a mountain, in a heavily wooded area, a young preacher pitched his tent
and prepared for a few days of solitude -- a time of spiritual renewal in which he would
be alone with his God, his Bible, and his thoughts.
It was to be a time of prayer, study, and reflections.

In the early morning hours of the second night he was suddenly awakened
by the sound of scratching on the floor of the tent.
By the light of the moon he was able to distinguish the cause:
a skunk had entered the tent and was rummaging through his belongings.

Within arm's reach was a sturdy club he had used the previous day for hiking.
The skunk was distracted, so he at least had a chance at clubbing it in the head
before it saw the blow coming.
However, on further reflection, he chose to do nothing.
He lay there very quietly, not moving or making a sound.
Suppose I do strike it on the head, killing it instantly, he speculated.
It could still, in its dying act, ruin my tent and everything in it -- not to mention
making me feel bad and smell bad for days!

So, the preacher determined he had nothing to lose, and perhaps, everything to gain,
by just remaining still.
After a few minutes the skunk realized there was nothing for him in this strange location,
and he walked away -- having done absolutely no harm at all.
The preacher, breathing a sigh of relief that he had been spared
a most unpleasant incident, returned to his peaceful slumber -- happy he had not
"created a stink" by foolishly defending himself, or initiating an attack
against this foul critter who had invaded his space.

There is a tremendous lesson to be learned from this parable of the preacher and the skunk.
Oftentimes, our "space" is invaded by some foul creature of the night intent
upon rummaging through our lives, actions and motives.

Human nature says, "Clobber them!"
The wiser course, however, may often be to remain silent.
Clobbering a skunk may only leave you smelling bad!
When the critters of the night came rummaging through His space,

Jesus often remained calm and quiet before them.
When brought before the chief priest after His arrest, "Jesus kept silent" (Matt. 26:63 NKJV).
Before Pilate, "while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders,
He made no answer.
Then Pilate said to Him, 'Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?'
But He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge!" (Matt. 27:12-14 NKJV).

You and I will have to face many "skunks" in life.
Wisdom lies not in struggling with them, but in allowing them simply to retreat
into the darkness from which they came!
-- Al Maxey Christian Clippings