See Beyond The Smell

By Joseph J. Mazzella • April 25, 2022

I was driving along with my son the other day when it happened. It went through the car’s engine, out of the AC vents and up my nose. I groaned, coughed, and gagged. My eyes even watered a bit. It was the ultra strong stink of skunk spray. I shook my head and blinked my eyes. “Well at least I know it’s Spring now!,” I said to myself and laughed.

Every Spring along with the first flowers the first dead skunks appear on the side of the roads here. Like a lot of animals they come out of hibernation this time of the year. Unlike the others ,though, they don’t run from the oncoming cars. Their instinct is to stop and spray and while it works on predators and the occasional curious dog it fails miserably against 2000 pounds of steel coming at 50 miles per hour. Thus, our roads become littered with the poor stinky guys and you always get a whiff of each one as you drive past.

I do feel sorry for those dead skunks. I used to hate them as a boy especially when my dog came home stinking of skunk spray time after time and year after year. He never did learn and it was up to Mom and Dad to scrub him clean again. He didn’t seem to understand either why they wouldn’t let him right back into the house with his “delightful” new odor. After a while I realized that he was just being a dog and the skunks were just being skunks. There was nothing I could do but laugh and accept it.

Sometimes life literally stinks. Sometimes you stop to smell the flowers and get a nose full of skunk instead. What you do during these times, however, is up to you. You can hate, curse, and complain or you can love, laugh, and accept. God never promised any of us a perfect smelling life. God just promised that we could love, learn, and laugh our way through it. It us up to us to see beyond the smell. It is up to us to find God’s goodness in all things. May you always do so

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