“Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.”
(Song of Solomon 2:15)
What pesters you? What frustrations consume the dialogues in your mind?
The other day, I spent the morning frustrated by a minor detail of a conversation. Nothing necessarily immoral or consequential, but irksome nonetheless. It created an issue of more time spent discussing the topic that could have been avoided.
My wife noticed my distraction and seemingly “off” behavior. She graciously asked, “What’s on your mind?” Without really thinking, I blurted out, “Why do these little issues matter so much to me?”
Have you been there? I think for most of us, we prepare for the enormous issues. Yet, on a day to day basis, the little pesterings and frustrations get the better of us.
You have to re-explain the same direction after the thousandth time.
You once again have been the benefactor of a nitpicked piece of feedback.
Your day gets detoured by an unforeseen errand.
Your plans get altered by everyone else except you.
I recently came across Song of Solomon 2:15, the passage quoted above. In an extremely obscure book of the Bible, that word picture made so much sense. When you and I look at what derails us, the “little foxes” can be as or more dangerous than the catastrophic problems.
Listen to what Tremper Longman and Dan Allender say about the verse:
…the foxes stand for anything or anyone who threatens the harmony and well-being of the vineyard garden. That is, anything or anyone who presents danger to the intimate relationship between a man or women. (God Loves Sex)
Though Song of Solomon 2:15 specifically references the marriage relationship, this verse provides us a larger principle — whether married or single. The “little foxes” keep the focus on ourselves rather than others. They can distract us from God’s best blessings in our lives. Ultimately, the accumulation of them in our lives can result in long term effects.
How do you deal with “little foxes?” It begins by identifying WHY anything or anybody has taken so much space in our mind and time.
These seemingly small issues hint to a deeper pain inside us: insecurity, bitterness, doubt, or anxiety. When we can go deeper, we can invite God to speak to the root problem. This is why community matters: with a trusted friend, you now have a place to receive truth and grace. Truth to see your blind spots to grow, and grace to receive.
What are your “little foxes?” What little pesterings or frustration are robbing you? Perhaps today is a prompt for you to identify these and take your next steps of growth.
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