It is amazing the technology that is available to us today. Most of the new cars, for instance, are now equipped with features that range from parallel parking the car to warning and even preventing a dangerous lane change or making an emergency stop. The blessing of this technology is that it is able to focus on the small threats while we drive. I was recently reminded as Jesus’ follower to be attentive to the small threats that could wreck our spiritual lives and relationships.
My Bible reading leads me through a number of different of sections in the Bible. Most recently I just started the Song of Solomon. It was in chapter two that I came across a passage that most of us have heard. “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”” (Song of Solomon 2:15) The beauty of the Song is we get a glimpse of King Solomon’s courtship with an unknown lover that becomes his wife. The flowery metaphors leave us both in awe and wonder. The awe overflows from the beauty of the narrative. The wonder flows from the, “I wonder what it is saying!”
Like most couples, all of life is a blur except for the eye of our attention. What a wonderful time it is to be overcome with love and infatuation. We learn of their desire and admiration for each other. We are reminded that for them there are not enough hours in the day. Enjoy for a moment the beauty of the maiden’s perspective of her prince, “The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.” (Song 2:8) And yet in our verse above we are reminded that all is not well in this perfect relationship.
Foxes in that day, and in other times, were a known nuisance for farmers in different ways. It is not clear to us today how they threatened the vineyards. It could be that they destroyed the blossoms or even damaged the vines. Solomon, the wisest man that lived, speaks of the importance of not sweeping these small distractions under the rug. The point being, our vineyards are almost always destroyed by the neglecting the small foxes. The harvest is lost through the neglect of the small issues that build over time. The challenge is not to let them run, but to “catch them.” The challenge is to deal with these small issues before they can do greater damage.
This powerful insight is a reminder to make our relationships a priority. I love Paul’s admonition, if at all possible, to not sleep on an unresolved issue. I am reminded that every relationship begins with a “honeymoon” phase. Let us determine to heed these wise words in our own relationships. They are worth it!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson