I drove the camp bus into an odorous disaster in New Hampshire. I was driving a group of young excited campers into the White Mountains for a two week adventure that included rock-climbing and backpacking. The leaders took turns at driving our old camp bus through the curvy mountainous roads in mid state area of New Hampshire. It was a hot day the turned into a July evening that boiled you in your sweat. The windows were down on the bus and we looked forward to our climb into the cool White Mountain Range of New England.
As I turned yet another curve on the mountain roadway I encountered a black and white issue walking across the mountain highway. You must never dodge a skunk with a bus load of riders, so I crushed the little pole-cat into the asphalt where it stood or so I thought. The little beast left a dieing gift. The awful smell of skunk perfume overtook the whole bus.
As I drove on in the heat of that awful night the smell kept getting worst and worst. Tears ran from the campers eyes. Complaints filled the air and we were all trapped in a 55 passenger moving skunk out-house.
My boss came to me asked for me to stop the bus and check and see if the little guy may have boarded the bus undercarriage. We got out our flashlights and began to look for a smelly stowaway. To our amazement we discovered the unburied remains of our New Hampshire skunk friend smashed into a section of the bus above the rear dual wheels.
Tom my fearless leader then declared that he was the boss and I was the employee, “Get that dead mess out from under the bus!” It was a simple solution; I put a garbage bag over my hands and pulled the dead black, white and pink meat from the wheel carriage. It was not fun. I did not even get a bonus for work beyond the call of duty. We all smelled like skunk for the next whole two weeks, because sleeping bags, clothes and other items were in the bus. I can’t imagine the thoughts of other hikers as they encountered us on the hiking trails. They must have said, “The human hiking skunk family just walked by us.” We actually got accustomed to the smell, which is a different lesson; saints must never become accustomed to the smell of sin in their lives.
Well I was a good employee that day; you might call me a camp servant. God often calls us to help in messes we would rather not touch. It is easier to not go to the jail and love the prisoner or not visit the dieing man in hospice care. We may not want to forgive another, let alone bear another’s burden. Loving Servants of the Lord have no other option.
2 Corinthians 6, “4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”