Choices, The little things

Foxes and Flies



Enough already!

I’m sure you could chime in with me with what you’re going through. It’s enough!

If I have to wake up to no water coming out of the taps and face another pile of unwashed clothes… I’ll do what I’ve always done: make some under-my-breath comments and carry on. Then, I’ll give my husband “that” look meaning, “Find water now or the consequences will be grave.” In no time at all, “that” look brings me water for washing two days’ worth of dirty dishes, but not quite enough for the dirty laundry. I’m holding out hope that the water will come on and that, by grace and mercy, the power will still be on so I can wash the clothes in the machine.

After 5 days without water, it finally did come back on and the power did stay on long enough for me to catch up with the laundry. A little means more than we think; we take the small things of life that keep it running for granted. We take a small thing that we always have at our disposal, water, for granted, until it’s turned off!

Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJ Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.”

It doesn’t take much for life to be interrupted by a very small detail that normally goes unnoticed. Once, I went to start our car and it proceeded to do nothing. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t transport anything or anyone – I was stranded. The long and short of it was that a small part in the starter needed replacing (of course the small part alone wasn’t available requiring us to buy a whole new starter). That part goes largely unnoticed until it is no longer functioning. Then, the entire vehicle was affected which, in turn, turned my day upside down.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 NKJ Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.”


Flies, seemingly innocuous creatures, are not as harmless as we might think. They can carry disease and there are flies that can (and do) lay their eggs anywhere they find that is convenient for them. They are opportunistic creatures and we give them a lot of opportunity. There’s a certain type of fly here in parts Africa that will lay its eggs on laundry that has been hung out to dry. Once you wear the clothes that were out on the laundry line, those eggs can get embedded into your skin. In time those eggs then hatch into maggots underneath your skin. The way to prevent having those eggs embed into your skin is to dry them in the dryer (if you have one) or iron them. If you don’t iron or dry your clothes in a dryer, you are risking an encounter with maggots – which is disgusting and extremely uncomfortable.

In every country I have worked in, I have asked residents if there are these types of flies present. Initially in Burundi, a neighbor told me that she’s never had an issue with them and hung out her laundry regularly without a worry. For a few years, I did the same, not ironing all of our laundry until one day my little boy (who was about 2 at the time) complained of painful bumps on his back. Indeed, there appeared to be some insect bites on his back, to which I applied some antibiotic cream. After another day or two, he began crying loudly that it was painful so off to the doctor’s we went. As he examined my son, the doctor asked, “Did you know that there’s a certain fly…” My baby had 9 maggots growing underneath the skin on his back and I watched in horror as the doctor removed them and prescribed some antibiotics to take to prevent any infection.

My neighbor was wrong. While our family went some time without any trouble with these flies, there obviously were flies in the area. We let the flies in without knowing it and it was a horrible lesson to have to learn.

The small things in life that don’t seem to be important are often what cause the big gears of life to turn. Interrupt the flow of one of these important small details and the entire machine may pack up and stop in its tracks. The dead flies have fallen into the ointment and caused it to putrefy.

Where have the dead flies landed in our lives? Where have the little foxes come in? In our relationships with God? In our relationships with our spouses, children? In our health? The knock-off effects of allowing the flies in putrefies us and can, in the long run, bring us to a sudden and definite halt.

Close the doors to the little foxes and the flies. They might seem harmless but let me assure you, they are up to no good.

Enough already with the foxes and flies!