Wow! Hope you've got some fun plans for Valentine's weekend 'cause this forecast looks amazing! Perfect weather coming! Check this from Todd the Weather guy…
"Very cold this weekend!! Saturday will see an arctic cold front coming, with bitterly cold air arriving Saturday night into Sunday! Lows plunge to near 10 degrees with snow flurries likely! Highs on Sunday will only reach into the 20's! It looks like there's a good chance for wintry precipitation next week! Stay tuned!"
Doesn't that sound awesome? At least down at our little house in the country, there's no gagging, tears, or near-puking in the weather predictions! As far as I'm concerned, it can frost and freeze and snow a foot, as long there's no STINK in the forecast!
Remember that skunk I was telling y'all about last week under our house?
I delivered the li'l sweetness to it's new home somewhere waaaay down the road on Tuesday!
If I ever get on Jeopardy, I think I'm picking this as my little personal interest fact they use in that eight second interview they do in the middle of the first round…
"It says here that one time you trapped a skunk and released it into the wild all by yourself."
"That's right, Alex! I've had some help in the past with catching and releasing the little stinkers but this time I did it from start to finish all by myself!"
"Good for you. Next, we have…"
"Wait, Alex! I haven't told you what I used to catch it! Honestly, I'll have to say that not many folks have ever done this by themselves! I'm kinda proud of the fact that…"
“Sorry. We need to move on to the next contestant. It says here you once juggled live turtles in a circus…"
Anyway, if Alex doesn't want to know, I'll tell you what food I did use to catch it…Skunks are really amazing critters! They eat grasshoppers, mice, grubs under the ground, and poisonous snakes!
Speaking of amazing skunk facts, did you know that their stink remains on you for four to eight days?
Did you know that their smelliness comes from two streams that burst out of their rear ends and travel separately thru the air for up to one foot before they combine in mid-air to make a fine mist?
(I bet the guy who first filmed this in slo-mo had to wait four to eight days before anyone wanted to see it!)
Skunks have to be able to put that tail straight up to let you have it! They can shoot five to eight times before the tank is empty, and it takes a week to "fill 'er up!"
They normally travel alone (duh!) and only socialize with each other during mating season (I guess some times instincts are stronger than stinks!)
And besides grubs and snakes, they love Li'l Debbie's Honey Buns! That's what I used!
I bought this little wire trap at Tractor Supply that's about as big as a shoe box. You put the H-Bun in the back. Mr. Skunk eases in for a munch, steps on a flap that makesthe door shut behind him, and Wham! You gotta skunk-in-the-box!
That's where it gets scary…
You gently throw a towel over the whole thing and speak to your prisoner in gentle tones…
"There you go, li'l buddy…It's gonna be fine…just enjoy yer bun while I sloooowly lift you into my truck…We're goin' fer a ride…This is probably your first time in a truck, huh?…Easy…Let's keep our tails down,ok?…D'you know Key Springs Road? You'll love it there…You'll need to stay off Hwy 61…I think I saw one of your cousins there this morning…Wasn't pretty…"
Then when you arrive, you pull over and calmly lift the trap and trapee out of the truck.
Then comes the most delicate moment…I was trembling and sweating. My heart was pounding. I felt like one of those specialists who defuse live WWII bombs when they find them in Europe's farm fields. Sloooowly I lifted the door. And as steadily as shaking fingers could, I hooked the latch…It's open! I stepped back slowly then ran to the truck! And watched!
"C'mon, dude! Get out!"
And there he came! Waddling like cross between a duck and a ten-ton elephant, scooting about his business like he rode in trucks going 60mph everyday!
"I did it!" I thought! "Yes!"
I wiped a tear and cranked my truck.. And drove away with a song in my heart.
I had a familiar feeling…
It felt like the first time (and every time!) I preached on the streets and piazzas of Italy.
Or the first time I ever held a hand and prayed in an ICU.
Or the first time I ever walked thru the steel doors of a jail and heard 'em close behind me.
It's the feeling you feel when you have something that's scaring you and you trust God and, with His help, face that fear and do the thing.
There's no feeling like it in the world.
Even if the fear never really goes away no matter how many times you find yourself in an intimidating moment and place, you begin to understand that with Him, you're not alone and you're going to be OK!
Whether it's deciding to have a tough conversation that is long overdue…
or whether it's deciding to share a word about Jesus with someone who needs it…
or especially if you have to decide if you have what it takes to set a skunk free…
Just do it!
'Cause fear really stinks!