We could be talking about the great cliffhanger spoiler alerts of the TV shows such as Dallas, Lost, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but not today. My favorite, however, was “Who shot JR?” from Dallas, 1980, how ’bout yours? Whether it be a sports playoff game, a reality show, or the unexpected end to a storyline, we appreciate being alerted to what is spoiling our expectations, don’t we?
Following a time of introspection and self-evaluation, I concluded that in my life I was greatly and easily distracted. It was obvious there were very few straight lines in my life, nearly everything I was doing was being infringed upon by something else. I couldn’t sit and focus without my mind jetting to another place or thing. I couldn’t read, study, or even talk with someone without some sort of mental distraction. (It’s always embarrasing to have to pull yourself back to the present when you find yourself wandering while in personal conversations. Geesh.)
How many bunny trails or peripheral issues have enticed us away from what is most important?
How many calls or appointments have we avoided because of less important distractions?
How many times have we given way to the immediate when on course for long term?
Today, I want to alert us to the spoilers in our life because I have seen them run rampant in mine.
There is a metaphor used in ancient writings that compares little foxes to the spoilers in our life. Cute, little, social, fast, and cunning foxes. Here’s the quote,
Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”Song of Songs 2:15 ESV
Let’s talk about those cute, furry foxes, shall we?
Foxes are omnivores, that means that they eat up everything. They feed on anything. They have no prefered food group. They eat it all at will and with pleasure. They are also very light and fast on their feet, and as social creatures live in packs, called a leash, skulk or earth. Their eyesite is fantastic and they live a very flexible life. (LiveScience.com)
“What does the fox say?” was a popular phrase that kids sang a while ago… I’m not sure what it says, but I do know these things about about that pesky lil’ creature; they:
- dig holes & passages that loosen the soil of the vines, thereby preventing a stable root system
- trample vines looking for prey with no care for what they destroy while looking
- are speedy, fast in and fast out while gaining their prey/fruit
- are cute but not tameable
- are little & therefore we think they are insignifigant
- are so cunning that they often work in pairs, one to distract the other to steal
Foxes are adoreable destroyers. Cute little, seemingly insignifigant spoilers that wreck an entire vineyard or garden. Living such flexible lives, their dens/burrows have multiple exits, so they rarely leave the way they came in. These smart spoliers, having stolen the fruit, leave the roots exposed, gnawed down and severly weakened.
SPOILER ALERT! There are little foxes loose in our life!
What are they? They could be:
- our phones, devices – notifications, social media, updates, email, texts
- “little” habits or attitudes that we often overlook of defend
- people or places
- anything that is stealing your fruitfulness
- whatever is spoiling your relationships
For you, what are they? For me, almost all of my spoiling, little foxes come from my iPhone. Like Eve, I have bitten bigtime into the “apple” and am finding myself not only deceived but overrun with distracting, annoying, rabbit holes, bunny trails, and lost fruitfulness. I am bigtime distracted by what’s in my hand.
Here’s the thing tho’, I am wise now to those sly little fox-like distractions. But being wise or aware that there are foxes/distractions ruining my fruitfulness is not enough. I have to get rid of them, because I have been chosen to bear fruit. John 15:16 He is the Vine and I am the branch, and our goal is fruitfulness. John 15:5-8
ALERT -Those spoilers have got to go.
It is interesting to note that when The Potter puts a lump of clay on His wheel to fashion it and make it, He notices that the clay is spoiled.
And the vessel He was making of clay was spoiled in the Potter’s hand and He reworked it…”Jeremiah 18:4 ESV
Could it be that the spoilers, the distractions that we continually allow into our life affect, and or delay the working of God in our life? Could we, by our following those spoilers, be thwarting our relationship to the Vine and our ability to produce the maximum fruitfulness He has called us to?
In my life, I say a resounding, “YES!” This piece of clay has been spoiled by distractions. “Please remake me, Master Potter.”
I believe He will respond to a heart’s cry like that, don’t you?
But I also believe, He will require action on my part. So, to help me with that, I’m gonna look to Sampson.
You’ll remember, Sampson was one of the 12 Judges of Israel, before the days of having a king. In fact, he was the last Judge of Israel. He was also the strongest. Given a supernatural power from God, he was able to perform amazing physical feats. You can review them in Judges chapters 13-16.
One of those amazing feats was the catching of 300 foxes! I kid you not. He actually rounded up and caught 300 wild foxes! (Did I say supernatural power? WOW.) Then he turned each pair of foxes, tail to tail and tied a torch to the tail pair. Having their tails fired up, they were released to run free and torch all the grain fields. Judges 15:4-5
Moral – we must personally round up those (potential) threats, distractions and spoilers to our relationships. It is up to us to identify them, acknowledge each one, be truthful and catch each distraction. Then, we gotta restrict the spoilers. Put restrictions on your phone use and response times. Repent of bad habits and attitudes. Illuminate all those cute little distractions and let them go. Stop holding on to them. They are spoilers to all that is the best in you. They are spoiling your relationship and your fruitfulness.
I have work to do, how ’bout you? (I’m placing my phone on restriction!)
Your life is designed to blossom. If it is not in bloom as it should be, check for those cute little foxes that are spoiling your life, your relationships. Then, restrict them. Tie them up, cut them off. Don’t let them into your vineyard to spoil anymore.
These are real and hard words, I know. I need them. But, I trust you can appreciate being alerted to what may be spoiling your fruitful expectations. I told you this would be a spoiler alert.
Let’s go catch those foxes,