You may not remember a popular singer of the 1940’s and ’50’s. She had many hit singles during a long career, and lived to the ripe old age of 94! One hit song was ‘Little Things Mean a Lot’. The lyrics were somewhat silly, but the tune very catchy. Reading this verse from the Song of Solomon, I was humming the tune to myself.
The first time I heard Kitty Kallen sing this song was in Florida, where my brother-in-law played it on his 8-track cassette player. Unfortunately, many of his 8-track tapes had melted in the heat and humidity of a few Florida summers. But this one, ‘Little Things Mean a Lot’, was in mint condition!
King Solomon wrote–‘catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom'(S of S 2:15). Little things. Doesn’t take much. As in relationships. A word poorly chosen. Something overlooked or forgotten, that seemed small to us yet significant to someone else. A friend gives us a strange look. Only one person utters a cutting comment about a sermon I delivered, and all the good comments(if there were any!) go out the window. ‘Little foxes…’. You can think of your own.
What do we do with these ‘little foxes’ and the damage they do? Solomon says to ‘…catch them…’ How? I think this is where boundaries in our relationships come in handy. Making sure we keep away from people who belittle and humiliate us. Nibble away at us. Drain us. Suck the air out of the room. You know who they are in your life. Pray, asking the Lord, to help you minimize and marginalize them. Left…to their own devices. No longer roaming free, eating away in your vineyard. Know what I mean? Or who?
What else to ‘catch them’? Here’s another side of the same coin. We can try to think the very best of people. To step back and not let every little thing bother us. To give someone the benefit of the doubt. Many times, I’ve concluded something or other, only to be totally wrong. Cut them some slack. I’ve heard this called ‘charitable judgements’. Giving the benefit of the doubt. Try it. I have. Sure, I don’t like being wrong. But, it’s far better than ruining a relationship, all for the wrong reasons, some of my own making.
‘Little Things Mean a Lot’! Watch out for them. Keep those ‘little foxes’ out. But step back and make sure that what we think are ‘little foxes’ are truly that. Sometimes they’re not. They might be melted ‘tapes’ playing a twisted, messed-up and garbled tune. So, be on guard. Be careful. Watch…
Prayer: Lord, we need your Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment to identify those ‘little foxes’. In Jesus’ name. Amen.