In the first 4 years of his life, Oreo never encountered a skunk.
We lived in a semi-wooded area, our nearest neighbors over a hundred yards away on any side. He was free to roam whenever he went outside, but being a Australian Shepherd mix he preferred to stay close to home especially if we were outside. Occasionally he chased a deer into the woods behind the house, returning when they ran too far away. It surprises me he never had the misfortune to meet a skunk there.
But all of that changed when we moved to the edge of town where we live now. Oreo's free roaming days are over because our neighbors are a lot closer and there is even a small but busy gas station across the street. We also have a neighborhood skunk who makes his rounds every few nights.
Once in a while, Dan will let Oreo run at night before bed; after the gas station closes and our neighbors' lights are out. But last night he didn't realize Mr. Skunk was afoot. Usually his reputation precedes him so we are more careful about Oreo.
Being the joyful, gregarious small critter chaser he is, Oreo took off around the side of the house and startled Mr. Skunk who delivered a parting shot before waddling away. Poor Oreo...he got his first ever tomato bath followed by a lather of shampoo with Pine-Sol and had to spend the night in his kennel rather than with us.
At least he wasn't too smelly and the tomatoes did work. But he definitely won't be roaming free at night anymore for awhile...
Like we try to keep Oreo out of trouble in his new surroundings, God tries to keep us as Christians from becoming entangled in sin again through His Spirit and through our conscience. But because we have a free will, we are free to sniff after sin and sometimes, it catches us. If we confess it, He is faithful to forgive us, but we might have to deal with its after effects, like Oreo's tomato and Pine Sol bath to get the stench of it off afterward!