“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NIV
The little foxes here are more likely what western eyes would call jackals. In any case the sense I believe is of scavengers, animals that come in and chance their luck, taking whatever good thing we may have left lying around.
Sometimes it can feel like we have scavengers in our lives, little snouts coming in and grabbing pieces of our joy or peace, running off with them, leaving us annoyed and bereft. I have a lot of large problems in my life, but it is usually the little things that push me over the edge and get me upset. This morning, for instance, one of my “little foxes” is the 13-year-old boy over the road who is riding his mate’s motor scooter up and down the road. It’s noisy, and it’s distracting when I’m trying to pray or write, or in today’s case, stay annoyed with my beloved husband about a misunderstanding (another little fox). And with a carer coming and a boiler man later, I guess I need to resign myself to the fact that today is going to be one of those days.
It’s odd because last night I had a lovely moment with my dad on the phone as he spotted a beautiful red fox in his garden. I felt like I was watching it with him. And I suppose that whilst I love foxes and think they are stunning and worth protecting, I also don’t particularly want their cousins nibbling away at my hard won peace. I guess a fox outside someone else’s window is more appealing than one rummaging in my dustbin.
I know that, as Meister Eckhart teaches us, all this small stuff is just so much weather passing. That we are the mountains and not the clouds that swirl around our summits, distracting and upsetting us. And often I can still myself and remember to connect with the Lord’s joy which is my comfort and shelter at such times. But no matter how much we steel ourselves against the big storms, it is often the big splattery raindrops that hit us bang on the nose that get our blood pressure rising. Not the wolves at the door, but the little jackals running in and out to glean the grapes we worked hard to bring to fullness, are the ones who really get our goat and set off our anger.
Our best defence at such times is perhaps to see the ludicrousness of it all, to be generous in our thoughts towards those who cause the niggles, and to accept that these things are going to happen. It is just going to be one of those days. I will still pray and write and trust the Lord. I’ve had a weepy five minutes, and a short session of whingeing prayer (we all need one of these occasionally) and now I shall take some deep breaths and await the rest of the pack of little foxes. Perhaps I shall find instead that they have taken themselves off elsewhere, and if not, I have my refuge somewhere deep down inside.
Photo from Pixabay