As usual that night, we left our warm campfire about 10 pm, and headed for the tent and the double sleeping bag—the more body heat the better in the winter, even in Florida. About 2 am I woke up to a clattering in our screen tent, which we had set up over the picnic table so we would always have a place out of the rain. I shook Keith awake. Without his hearing aids he is totally deaf. He read my lips with the aid of a flashlight, but thought I said there was someone out there, when I said something. He unzipped the tent and made some sort of macho noise, then pulled on his coat and went out with the flashlight. Meanwhile I was hearing the noise from the screen tent over the table, as he walked around the truck looking for a person. I was thinking, "No, no, no--in the screen!" But even yelling it would not have gotten through to him and would have wakened the entire campground.
So he came back to our tent and when he stuck his head back in, I mouthed, "In the screen," and pointed, so he went, and sure enough we had forgotten to put our garbage bag in the back of the truck, and it was lying on the ground, torn open. He knew it was a coon then, and took the bag and put it on top of the truck cab because he had not taken a truck key with him out of the tent, and came back to bed.
Not five minutes later, I heard ka-whump! clatter, clatter!, and knew that the big, blue, Rubbermaid box that holds our pots and pans had been knocked off the bench of the picnic table, so I whapped Keith again and said, "It's ba-ack." So he went back out and this time put the garbage bag totally inside the back of the truck before heading to the screen and finding the pot box, upended, but still sealed, on the ground. He searched all around but saw no coon. He decided to close up the propane stove because it was possible that some grease had spilled in there and was drawing the coon with the smell, though it had not come any other night.
We had our biggest pot, a very thin, light aluminum 3 quart pot on top of it from boiling our evening coffee water. The thing probably did not cost $5.00 thirty years ago, that's how light it was, just a layer or two thicker than aluminum foil. I think my morning mug of coffee weighs more. He leaned over and picked up the pot with one hand and closed the stove with the other. Just as he came up on one side of the table, the coon did a chin up on the other side so they were facing one another nose to nose in the starlight. He was so startled he didn't think at all, just went wham! with that flimsy little pot. The coon scrambled trying to get a purchase on the table and finally got up and over it, with Keith getting another lick or two in as it got away. Actually he is lucky. You will never see anything quite as vicious as a frightened or angry coon.
Well, the coon kept going and never did come back that night, but he would have the next if we had stayed a day longer. It isn’t that coons are all that smart, it's that they are persistent. My pot now has a perfect impression of a coon head in the bottom of it and we would have been happy to use it again. It certainly wasn't going to sit flat on the stovetop any longer.
That is exactly how we need to approach Satan. This is not a game. This is not some cute, cuddly little animal, but a vicious brute who wants nothing less than your destruction. I've heard him laughed about too often. I have seen the world treat him as a myth and anyone who believes in the war between good and evil called a superstitious fool. Too many times I have seen Christians shamed by their friends in the world into laughing about him too. It's time to get serious about the Enemy. He is persistent—he will not stop until you have laid down your pot in either victory or defeat. Your persistence must match his, chasing him away again and again.
If you don't have a pot with an impression of Satan's head in it, you haven't been fighting hard enough. It needs to be hanging on your wall like a trophy, but easy enough to get down and use again. Giving in is not an option—not if you expect to survive till the morning.
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1John 3:8-10).