One Friday afternoon, as the boys and I arrived home from school, I peeked into our backyard. My heart lurched when I spied two red foxes lounging in the grass as if they owned the place. They looked so cute as they soaked in the winter sunlight. When I opened the kitchen window to snap a picture, they stared back at me without a trace of fear in their eyes.
They’d found their home.
As cute as they were to watch, I began to wonder if it was such a great idea to let them think they owned our yard. What would happen if they stopped by for a nap when the boys wanted to play outside? The last thing I wanted was domain fights with wild animals. Even if they were cute.
The man who sprays our house for bugs happened to stop by right about then. He kindly strode out our back door and chased those foxes off. They rose at the first sight of him, but didn’t run. He stepped closer to them. They sauntered toward the wooden fence that borders our yard, glancing over their shoulders. Almost as if they hoped they wouldn’t really have to deal with the inconvenience of leaving their comfy pad.
It was only when he ran toward them, shooing them, that they realized he was serious. After that, they decided to move to new digs.
I got to thinking about this. How many things have taken up residence in my life? Things that don’t seem like a big deal at first. But as I let them settle into my thoughts—my heart—they become a definite problem? This takes many forms, but one aspect I struggle with is discontent.
I wish I’d received something good like so-and-so did.
I wish my hair was as pretty as so and so’s.
I wish I wrote like her.
I wish . . .
You get the idea. When those little wishes take root in my heart, they lead to comparison, and then envy.
A little wishing isn’t wrong, is it?
I’ve learned not to go there. When I take my eyes off Jesus and put them onto others, discontentment always results.
God knows the plans He has for me. He knows why they include—or don’t—certain things. Maybe if He gave me something I really wanted, it would be detrimental to my character. Or maybe, I would stop depending on Him for daily help.
I’m learning to trust His leading of my life. Even when His plans look different than I want them to. He brings good through the things He does and does not allow into my life.
When I keep my eyes set on Him, I can fight off those “I wish’s” and maintain a peaceful heart.
What about you? What are the little red foxes in your life? How do you keep a handle on them?