Between the Vines - Artist: Carl Brenders

Between the Vines – Artist: Carl Brenders

Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
Song of Solomon 2:15

…A taste of the spaghetti sauce while it is simmering…”SooOOOOooo good!,” …it requires another taste and just one more!

…A french fry (or two…or six!) from a family member’s “Happy Meal”…”Ooh! I need me some of these!”

…Just one more handful of popcorn at the movies…”Ok, well, maybe one more….”

While it is certainly true that Solomon probably didn’t have these scenarios in mind when he penned the request to “Catch for us the foxes that ruin the vineyards,” there is definitely an interesting principle that we can draw from the biblical context of the verse.

Small foxes can ruin a wonderfully good thing.

Do you find that you aren’t quite experiencing the physical results that you feel you should be as you apply yourself to eating between physical hunger and satisfaction? While it is my deepest heart’s desire to convey that this journey is about SO much more than food and weight, the fact does remain–at least in part–most of us chose to connect with Thin Within in the first place because we felt that we could/should be a smaller size than we were (I know this isn’t true of everyone…many of you hope to be willing to eat what God calls you to eat instead of restricting).

It IS true that God may be teaching you personally that HIS desire for you is to be content at a certain size instead of something as small as you had hoped, but if the size that you think you are supposed to accept contributes to extreme health problems, perhaps there is still yet work to do. If you aren’t seeing some progress in letting go of the physical weight, I want to suggest that you evaluate:

Are there little foxes ruining this vineyard?

It takes a lot of work to get a vineyard to produce! The worst thing to a vineyard owner is to put all that time, money, and effort into having a producing vineyard only to have the little foxes ruin it all. Charles Wesley is credited to have said:

Spoil vines –  foxes do this many ways, by gnawing and breaking the little branches and leaves, by digging holes in the vineyards, and so spoiling the roots. Tender grapes – Which are easily spoiled, if great care be not used to prevent it.

I realized that the little foxes running amok in my life and my attempts to adhere to the principles and boundaries that God has led me to embrace (0 to 5 eating) were a problem for me. I had waited for my definitive hunger signal at one particular lunchtime. I eagerly put left over Mexican food in the oven to heat up. Even as I set the timer for 15 minutes, I realized that my hunger was INCESSANT!  I reached for small fox #1…a few chips. “Yum!” Then small fox #2…A cookie. “Yes, perfect!” Small fox #3…A bite of frosting from the jar…”That will do.”

All three foxes had dashed through before the meal emerged from the oven. By the time my leftovers were heated, I wasn’t hungry any longer and the amount of food that I had placed in the oven was based on my eating it from hunger to satisfaction…not from whatever-hunger-number-I-was-at-currently to a 5. Meaning, by eating the amount I had prepared, I was almost assuredly overeating! Being a “veteran” Thin Withinner I had put a fist sized portion in the oven, but only now I needed to be honest…there was a “three-finger sized” amount of space left in my stomach!

This didn’t happen just once before I became aware of the little foxes, either. It happened numerous times…each time with the justification of “Well, I am hungry!'” The truth is, if all of those little bites were going to be a part of my meal—used to satisfy my hunger—they needed to be considered. The portion I was yet waiting on from the oven might not even be necessary at all!

Having shared this with some of my coaching clients who have lamented that they wonder about their physical results not being quite what they had hoped, they have approached their eating with additional vigilance. You know what has happened? You guessed it. The physical changes are happening once again.

How About You?

On your way to your God-given natural size, every so often you might have to re-evaluate, refine, hone in on what is going on. Is it possible that you could benefit from evaluating if the little foxes are ruining your hard work? They can be quite subtle and we tend to justify and minimize them. Consider this thought, though…When we justify them not only do those small bites here and there represent energy that we are consuming that our body may not need, but might it also be adding a little bit of hardening to our hearts spiritually speaking? Maybe we can ask God to make us sensitive to His leading so that we get rid of the little foxes and welcome His Presence as the good Vinedresser that He is into our Vineyard!

What “little foxes” do you need to catch?