“Perfect pet door!” Jolene, my master, had decided as she slid open a ground-level window. It would make a temporary pet door in our country home. Collecting dust in the shed was the box with a weatherproof pet door. Jolene needed to get someone to put it in. She smacked her thumb last time she used a hammer. No wonder she put off messing with the new pet door. She isn’t much of a carpenter.
But I wasn’t worried. As the hard-working resident guard dog, I, Adobe, personally guaranteed no one put a paw in who didn’t belong. I couldn’t speak for the cats. Snoozing through the summer with four paws in the air was what each of the two called work. They only came to life for meals. All night they partied with their friends. Now and then, one would leave a furry trophy inside where everyone would notice.
My hound dog nose is packed full of talent and skill. Right away, I liked the open window pet door. It was easy. Simple. Barely having to raise a paw, I could step inside the Garden of Eden Hilton, which is what I call home. Food fare is delicious and service is five stars with a smile most of the time. I am thankful. Country dogs like me know which side our bread was buttered on – and hope someone drops a slice butter side up. “Biting the hand that feeds?” Never!
But one spring evening, I sprang to action with non-stop frenzied barking. “Intruder! Break-in!” I warned Jolene loudly. Burglar! Traitor! Thief! Infidel! Terrorist! Opportunist! Freeloader!”
When Jolene peeked around the corner, her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open.
The four-legged thing was furry, but odd. A white stripe divided its black back. Glaring at me with shiny black eyes as it ate pet food, I noticed it had a pointed black nose. Its tail trembled.
“It’s a skunk, Adobe! Get back! Don’t let any of them in!” .
With a broom, Jolene nudged the black and white varmint toward the open door. As she closed it, she sighed, “Good job, Adobe!”
But more seasons went by until it was warm out again. The boxed pet door still collected dust. Jolene had put it off again. The open window pet door reigned. It was okay by me.
During my early evening sentry duty next to Jolene’s chair in the office, I was resting my eyes a little. Suddenly, my nose stood at attention. I barked, yipped, yelped and growled out threats of the terrible fate for intruders. This time the force was with them: Mama Skunk and four of her kits showed up. But just as skillfully as a cattle dog, I drove Mama and three trespassers outside. Then I took off after the fourth, cornering it in the living room.
“No more break-ins or food foraging, for you, Runt!” I snarled.
.Winding up with an especially terrifying bark and series of yips, I noted the kit had raised its tiny tail to fight dirty. With no warning, it was over. I took no prisoners. Never have I or the rug ever smelled the same again.
If only Jolene had put in the all-weather pet door!
Putting off is procrastination. It’s isn’t a town in Texas or anywhere else.
Just as an envelope or e-mail may begin, “Urgent! Immediate attention required.” so our Creator stresses immediate attention to challenges in all aspects of our lives:
Work: “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” Proverbs 12:24.”
Relationships: “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” [Ephesians 4:26.]
Longevity: “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” [James 4:13]
Eternity: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts …” [Psalm 95:6-8]
Have you addressed the most immediate and important of all decisions–Who Jesus is to you?
But if you’ve handled that with skill and speed yet still face a skunk problem, God and Adobe would also agree that you need to give it your immediate attention. For when it comes to consequences, skunks are loaded to deal with life on earth, and not in Heaven.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]