Have you ever been in a parade? Well, you must have at least watched the Pasadena Rose Parade. Watching all those floats parade in front of the cameras and people, proudly displaying the work they made on the float. All the people mesmerized at the art and craft of each float. In a small town, during a parade, people still crowd the sidewalks to watch the people and the bands parade by proudly. On a Veterans Day parade, the veterans of the town dawn their uniforms and proudly parade past the cheering people in memory of their service to the country. I can imagine the very first parade. Can you figure it out? In Genesis, chapter 2 verse 20 where Adam has been given a job to name all the animals.
Let me set the scene up. God sends a call to all the animals of the land and birds of the air for the first, majestic parade. The animals are notably nervous because they will forever be given a name. They preen themselves to look their best because the name they are given will follow them, and their progeny, for the rest of time. The animals line up and wait for their cue from God and when told, they sashay in front of Adam waiting for him to name them. In comes the first animal and roars, so Adam names him ‘lion’. So the first lion marches forth with his head held high because he is no longer nameless but has a majestic name that will stick with him and all his kind forevermore. The animals start to feel a little more comfortable because this Adam guy seems to be doing a great job at naming them. Next, a large bird swoops in front of Adam and screeches, so Adam gives him the name eagle. Now the majestic bird can fly proudly thru the air with a great name for him and all his kind. The line of animals is long, stretching all the way thru the Garden of Eden. And all of the animals crowding close, waiting for their turn in front of this guy, Adam. As you look at the line from above, you see a noticeable gap in the line near the end. One lone animal has a gap in front of and behind him because the other animals are keeping their distance. It is his turn in front of Adam, and Adam looks closely at him. It looks cute, cuddly and furry like a cat and Adam smiles, then takes a deep breath, chokes and says the first word for ‘P-YEW’. I wonder if Adam ran behind God and asked “what were you thinking?” Now the skunk has to live with that word and reputation forevermore.
What was God thinking? He made predators with teeth that can tear flesh, birds of prey have a strong beak and sharp talons to provide for himself not to mention eyesight that allows him to see a mouse while soaring high in the sky. He made birds so they can fly away and the gazelle can run away fast. The crocodile with armor like skin and sharp teeth can most definitely fend for himself. Other animals have ways to defend themselves like the porcupine with its quills that stick like needles. But God must have thought he would try an experiment with the skunk. Imagine Gods thought process … ‘let me make this animal defend himself by producing the most foul and disgusting odor that sprays out of his, ahem, rear end’. The poor skunk must have done something terrible, or maybe not. The perfect pacifist… dirty and smelly and something normal people would try to avoid.
Or the giraffe, with that long neck and skinny legs. This animal towers above others to be the perfect lookout, for the skunk most likely. The other animals must pay a small pittance for the giraffe to be on the lookout for those pesky skunks. At least his nose is far upwind of the odor.
Have you ever seen an anteater? This animal must have had leftovers on his chin when marching in front of Adam. That long, sticky tongue which allows him to literally lick up the ants. How many ants must he eat every day to stay fit? Do they tickle when swallowed?
So, what was God thinking? The different animals must have provided a joyful variety. So many colors and shapes. Some that fly, others swim, even one that does both if you have ever seen a flying fish.
But the one animal that has been the most trouble is man. But to mark man from the other animals, he gave him free will, and when Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he was forever marked. Once he disobeyed God, that is when all trouble started and God had to figure a way to save his creation. So, where is the real skunk? Is it the furry cat like animal that defends himself by spraying a malodorous fluid from his buttocks, or man that is constantly trying to replace God with himself? I don’t think God made any mistakes, but the animal that has free will has. You and I have free will. How are you using your free will? I will use mine to stay clear of the skunk, both the four legged and two legged kind.