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Small Things…Big Consequences

“Catch the foxes for us—the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.” Song of Solomon 2:15

Recently, we had a couple of visitors at our home…and they were not welcome. We all have them at one time or another…I guess. One of the things about living in an older home is they seem to always find a way in. I am talking about the little brown furry ones…mice. This time of year it seems they want to come inside out of the cold. Who can blame them? Well, I can…and they visit at their own peril.

I don’t like them and my wife Judy really doesn’t like them. So when we found out they were visiting, we launched an all out war. We set two kinds of traps and used a glue board. Well, they laughed at the glue board and the fancy new traps we bought. But the old fashioned ones finally sent them to brown furry heaven. Did I feel bad? Nope, in fact I did my little happy dance.

The furry little visitors really liked to visit our pantry and in fact that is where they met their demise. We have since found a way to discourage their cousins from visiting by putting almost everything in plastic containers. But, it turns out that they had the last laugh. You see, I had purchased a variety pack of chips. They were small bags of, oh, six or seven kinds of snack foods. Well, as it turns out, the little furry brown visitors liked to chew a hole in the bag to see what was on the inside. As far as I could tell, they didn’t eat any, they just chewed a hole.

Well, I found this out the hard way. I selected a bag, opened it up and popped a chip in my waiting mouth. I was surprised to discover that it was stale. Hmmm. I looked and sure enough there was a whole about the size of a nickel in the bag. Bummer. So, I tossed that one in the trash and started going through the rest of the bags. Believe it or not, most of the bags had smallish holes. Well, because that meant the furry little visitors had nibbled on the bag and because that meant the chips were stale, all of them went in the trash. Being a rather frugal person…it kinda made me mad.

There were a couple of bags that survived and when I was packing for a recent trip to North Carolina, I decided to take some snacks. There was one bag of Fritos that had escaped the onslaught of the furry visitors and I figured something salty might taste good later on so I tossed them into my snack bag. Sure enough, one night at the hotel, I decided the time for something salty had come. I opened the bag, and with great anticipation tossed a couple of Fritos in my mouth. Well, guess what? Yup…they were stale.

Wait a minute. We had checked the bags…the violated ones had been tossed and only the survivors were kept. This was one of the survivors. So, I began to check the bag again and here is what I found. At the bottom of the bag, near the seam, was the tiniest, the smallest hole you could imagine. It was so small, I had to look twice. But guess what? It was enough for the seal to be broken and when the seal is broken…things go stale pretty quickly. Sure, the fresh by date was months down the road, but that assumed a little furry visitor didn’t poke a hole in the bag.

And that made me think. How could such a small hole make such a big difference? Of course the answer is…the seal was broken…the integrity of the bag was violated. And that made me think about us, about me and my life and my decisions. It made me realize that you don’t have to do something incredibly stupid to have things go south in your life. We are not surprised by some of the things we do…you know…eat a dozen donuts and gain a pound or two. But too often we think the little things don’t matter…but they do…oh, they do.

And all that leads up to one of my favorite verses from the Old Testament. It is found in the Song of Solomon, chapter two, verse 15, “Catch the foxes for us—the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.” Great verse. The author is saying it often it isn’t the elephants walking through our lives that get us…it is the little things that can make life go stale. So we have to be on alert. Remember little things can have big consequences. If you need some help, you might want to call an exterminator…but not the kind you think. You might want to ask the Creator…He is ready to help. As always, big or little, He’s got this too. Bro. Dewayne