February - 20 - Wednesday

Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Take heed, watch and pray.

Philippians 1:27; Mark 13:33.

Slight default, serious damage

In the year 1978 the town of Winterthur in Switzerland became the scene of a form of inexplicable vandalism: the electric cables under the bonnets of parked cars were regularly being severed. Teams of watchdogs were organized and positioned throughout the town, and the culprits were soon discovered: they were small animals, martens who were able to climb on to the engines and nibble the rubber leads!

This makes us think of a verse in the Bible: “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes” (Song of Solomon 2, 15). Apparently inoffensive creatures can cause irreversible damage, ruining the blossom and the harvest. In biblical language the vine often has a particular connotation, e.g. a group of believers. The sap in the shoots represents the life of a believer who is to produce fruit to the glory of God. This verse is therefore an exhortation to vigilance: certain words or attitudes, innocent enough in appearance, can affect the development of our spiritual life and interrupt our fellowship with God. Any activity of ours that overlooks God will be fruitless for Him.

Let us not be deceived: such occasional, hardly perceptible slips or seemingly insignificant compromises must result in impairing our communion with God. Let us therefore be watchful and pray, so that we catch the “"little foxes”!