Friday, October 10, 2014

DEVOTION: Skunks and Small Decisions ~ by Karen Rees

One Sunday afternoon during the primary school summer holiday, my brothers and I went for a walk on our farm. We met a skunk. When this small animal feels threatened, it aims its rear end at the “enemy”, lifts its furry tail and shoots out a stinking oily spray. The skunk decided we were the “enemy”.

When we arrived home in a cloud of “skunk stink”, our parents determinedly scrubbed us from head to toe. That night we sat on the very back row in church still smelling of “skunk”. We were there because my parents believed in attending church faithfully.

Their decision to take us to church was just one of many small decisions that they made as I was growing up. My parents also believed in being honest, in tithing, in being hospitable and hard working, in speaking kindly. They believed in turning the other cheek, standing up for what's right and doing what God wants regardless of the cost.

I know these things about them because I saw their small decisions.

Life is filled with small decisions and these decisions matter. They make us who we are. They show others what we believe about God.

Our small decisions also are important because they lay the foundation for making our big decisions. They strengthen us to face the trials in our lives. If we honor God in our small decisions, we'll more likely follow him in the big ones. If we're careless in the small decisions, we'll fail in the big ones.

How we use our tongues matter. What we devote our time to matters. Whether we're trustworthy matters. How we handle our finances matters. What we post on Facebook matters. Whether we're thankful or we complain matters. How we respond to unfair criticism matters. Whether we act from love or from pride matters.

The importance of small decisions is clearly shown in the description of the final judgment found in Matt. 25:31-46. The righteous are rewarded with eternal life while the unrighteous are sent away to eternal punishment. The King gave rewards or punishment based on the small decisions those people made. Small decisions can have eternal consequences.

So, if you ever meet a skunk on Sunday, run. If you aren't fast enough, sit at the very back of the church that evening. Other people may not like the odor. God will think you smell just fine because you made the right small decision.

KAREN REES, with her second-generation missionary husband Benjamin, has served in Hong Kong since 1975. Besides her involvement in the mission work, Karen loves history, quilting and writing. They have two children, Matthew and Megan, and one grand-daughter, Hadessah.

Her historical fiction novel, The Ruby Ring, won a Finalist Award in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards in the Religious Fiction category. It can be purchased in paperback or eBook from and many other online bookstores.

Visit Karen on her author page on Facebook.
Watch her book trailer, The Ruby Ring Trailer.


  1. Hi Karen. Loved your post about decisions. We don't have skunks in Australia. Funny how something so cute looking can smell so awful when threatened.

  2. Skunks can make good house pets for people willing to risk it. A neighbor had one and found her skunk quite useful on one occasion.

    She was trying to get rid of an unwanted but persistent salesman when the pet skunk walked into the room. She picked it up and said, "Here, hold my skunk while I look at your merchandise." The salesman ran for the door.

  3. Thanks for joining our devotional team Karen. I love your story about the skunk and the lessons it has to teach us.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Shirley. for giving me the opportunity. And, thanks, Jenn, for your brief comment.