The little foxes

Song of Solomon 2:15 “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. Little foxes spoil the vine.”

I often wonder how many people strive to tackle the major problems of life all the while ignoring the smaller ones that spoil the whole. I know there are major issues which cannot be ignored. However, small things rarely gain our attention until they metastasize into something unmanageable. Little foxes look too insignificant to worry about until they destroy the very thing that feeds us.

While I cannot exhaust the list, I will offer one of those “small” things:

Interruptions. In a not so subtle way, the interruption destroys clarity; thought process; peaceful moments; and conversations. The ping on our phone cutting in on present relationships to tell us that we have a new email… A tweet notification… A text or a series of texts… All of them are interruptions to our daily lives. Phones at dinner tables have paused a thousand conversations, but still we think nothing of it. Interruptions arise from different directions, which makes me think that there is something more sinister with this “fox” than just the function of life. Televisions humming in the background and the constant Internet surfing that barge into our family rooms are all contributors. Information overload has drowned out the Scripture, which are written to make us wise unto salvation.

Oliver Burkeman writes: “By one estimate, 70% of us take our news-delivery devices to bed with us at night.” The interruption is welcomed by the consumer like a sweet drink with diluted poison. It doesn’t do damage like sinful practices because it is not sinful. It’s just an interruption that steals our attention.

Solomon speaks of tender vines that are damaged beyond repair. Time thieves are everywhere and time is a tender thing. Listening, prayer, meditation, and Bible reading are all tender things. Little foxes can do more damage than the roaring lion if left unattended. The little fox seems so inconsequential until the day comes when you have no relationship with the church and the altar.

I’ve watched this too many times. People stop worshiping. They sit unmoved. They resign from serving and then miss a few services. They come infrequent until they don’t come at all. They still justify themselves by saying they love God, but they have no worship time; no serving; no altar experience and no pastor. They live in a backslidden state all the while absolving their inaction and disobedience as being busy. It didn’t start that way. Little foxes, perhaps an interruption, suspended their walk; broke their spiritual concentration and now they are no where to be found.

Remember, there are “little foxes” ready to take what is tender. So stand guard. Eternal life is too valuable to be stolen by an interruption.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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