Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen...
OK, so maybe this 70s song wasn't exactly referencing Afghan Hound hair, but it's an introduction into the metaphor of how "little foxes spoil the vine."
Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
Song of Songs 2:15
Hippie song to Bible verse?
I admit, it's a stretch.
Do you see the beautiful coat on this dog? If you think it looks like a lot of work to keep up, you would be right and you would be wrong. Regular brushing keeps it looking good. It's the "little foxes" that cause the problem.
Here in Oklahoma, we have an annoying weed that we've fooled ourselves into thinking is lawn grass. It's called Bermuda grass. It grows like a vine but it can endure the hot summers better than the nice, soft northern fescues and ryes. I personally hate the stuff but don't have a choice in the matter.
Dead grass and furry pets are a tough combination. From late fall to spring, their little paws double as mops sweeping in the dried grass & leaves. Every day you have to clean the floors.
Dead Bermuda grass and long coated pets are a test to try the patience of a saint. This viney vegetation has little hooks which I suppose is what creeps along the ground & buries itself to carpet the yard. The problem occurs when the grass dries and those little hooks catch in the dog's silky hair.
My Khaleesi looks like a glamour queen and plays like an 8 year old country boy. She loves to run in the rain, dig in the mud, and roll around in the grass. That's fine in the green season (excepting the rain & mud), but this dry wintertime is ... really keeping me busy.
Even with regular grooming I still find mats. I carefully brush them out. Sometimes I have to work some detangling product into it. Strand by strand, separate the golden hairs. Brush, brush, brush. Nine times out of ten, do you know what I find in the middle of this cluster? A teeny, tiny grass hook! It can be smaller than a peppercorn, but it causes a big problem.
This happens in our lives, too. We bounce along, busy with work, family, friends, hobbies, entertainments. Unnoticed, an insignificant, little peppercorn with a hook attaches itself. We sleep in and miss a workout. Before long, we're back to being a couch slouch. Or we're running late and skip our devotional time one morning. Then another. And it gets easier to skip it altogether. We make a sarcastic comment disguised as humor. People laugh and sarcasm becomes our way of conversation. We have a drink at the end of a hard day, not realizing there's a whole week or month of hard days still to come.
You get the idea. Bad habits don't just happen; they creep up on us. With a little watering, they'll start to cover the lawn of your life. Without the discipline of regular "brushing," you've got a mess of a mat that you'll have to spend much time untangling. If you let it get too bad, you might even have to cut it out.
But what does that have to do with foxes?
In our pop culture obsessed, hi-tech, sophisticated world, the Bible seems outdated; a book for dull, old people. Quite the contrary - the wisdom it contains is timeless and it was written for our benefit. The foxes represent the seemingly harmless things that, when allowed to run rampant, will make a matted mess of your life. Your life is symbolized by the vineyard. The blooming vineyard speaks of your spiritual fruit. Spiritual fruit also yields wonderful fruit in your daily world.
Be alert to the little foxes (or grass hooks), that may be trying ruin the good things God wants to produce in and through your life!