In a season of change, it seems there is a lot of mess before there is order. As I shared yesterday, even changing decor from one season to the next is chaotic.

Consider the day you decide to organize THE closet. Two hours later, everything looks much worse than when you started. Keeping at it is key. Discarding coats, hats and boots that don’t fit anymore or sorting bedding to donate from the bed you don’t own anymore takes time. Once it’s done, order is restored and the closet breathes a happy sigh of relief!

It’s the little foxes!

15Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Song of Songs 2:15

Grudges – another little fox that ruins the vineyard. I like to think that I am forebearing – that’s a fancy word that encompasses the idea of patience, tolerance and restraint. I rarely get angry but when I get my knickers in a twist it takes way too long for them to get straightened out. Even after they are smoothly sitting where they ought to be again, I find that I avoid whatever (or whomever) it was that caused the twisting. (It is said that a cat won’t touch a hot stove twice. That cat also won’t touch a cold stove. I kind of feel that way sometimes too.)

Grudges are a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury. (Thank you, Dictionary, for your assistance!) Persistent – like a sore heel or knee that troubles me every time I walk. That’s how grudges act. Visiting me with negative thinking, encouraging me to remember the insult. Even after I have consciously forgiven the offender.

If you, too, are plagued with these persistent feelings of ill will, I have a suggestion. First, be kind to yourself. Gently review the offense, acknowledging the insult or injury. Ask Jesus to help reframe it, to see it from a different perspective. Offer forgiveness to the offender. This doesn’t free the person from their responsibility in the matter. It only frees you to move on. When the nagging feeling visits, remind yourself that you have forgiven the offense and choose to let it go. Finally, be kind to yourself. It takes time for wounds to heal. Some injuries seem to heal almost over night; other injuries take a long time.

If the foxes are allowed to run through my life, the love I have for others will be destroyed. I will be the one who suffers. It won’t impact my eternal future, it just changes how I experience the day to day. I don’t know about you, but I want my days to be filled with hope and joy. So I’m going to catch the foxes and get them out of my life.

25But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Mark 11:25

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