The Little Angry Foxes
By Fin Sheridan
Most of us would like to imagine ourselves as reasonable people. Calm, rational, reasonable – able to control our emotions and our responses. However, we all have our exceptions. There will be “the thing” that makes us disproportionately angry. Maybe, even “two things”. Possibly even three things.
For some of us, it will be traffic, or in fact just any kind of road-related activity. The moment we step behind the wheel, everything changes. For others, it will be slow walkers. Cookies with raisins that look like chocolate chips are another major problem. And don’t even get me started on noisy eaters.
All of those things (and the hundreds more that came into your mind) all have one thing in common: they are little things. They aren’t big, life-changing issues. They’re not really worth getting angry about but they have the potential to push the Big Red Button in our minds and somehow we end up losing our minds over them every time.
“It’s the little foxes that ruin the fruit.”
In Song of Songs (you didn’t see this coming, did you?), one of the characters warns about “the little foxes”. She says “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” These foxes are a metaphor; a metaphor for the little issues, whether in relationships or in our own minds and hearts, that ruin the “vineyards of our lives”.
It’s the little foxes that ruin the fruit. It’s not a lion or a bear or a big animal – it’s a fox, small and sneaky and easily missed. Just like the little issues we get so cross about and the little triggers that set us off and can ruin our mood and steal our joy.
The Devil is in the detail and he’s in the little foxes too. Romans says that the “mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace”. Nothing wants to rob your peace like the little angry foxes.