Friday, September 4, 2015

Sometimes we need blinders to keep the foxes out.

Wait for it... wait for it....
This morning as Jason read from the Westminster Catechism after breakfast, I was distracted by Reagan, Jason's dog.

He was licking our couch in my left-hand
peripheral vision.

This action by Reagan is more or less daily.  And it more or less infuriates me.

I've attempted to stop his licking by speaking loudly.  Note: Reagan is loosing his hearing, so loud is the only volume that kind-of gets his attention. I've tried running around like a crazy lady to distract him.  I've tried shooing him off the couch.  All strategies work.  Temporarily.  Most only last a few minutes before he starts again.  And none last til the next day.

This morning, as Jason calmly read, completely undisturbed his dog who has been doing this for his entire life, I saw Reagan out of the corner of my eye... at it again.  I'm positive he does this only to spite me.  Although I'm sure the (few) Reagan-lovers out there would say otherwise.

Still...there he was.

Here it comes.....
Licking the couch, having a great time while I sat, anger rapidly growing inside of me.

In a moment of God's grace and undeniable strength, I started talking to myself, "It's okay, Elizabeth.  It's not worth it.  Remember the bigger picture.  You can't take the couch to Heaven anyway.  Your husband is reading to you - pay attention to him, not the dog!"

In desperation, I finally, put my hand up, as a shield on the side of my face to completely block my peripheral vision.  While it didn't eradicate my growing frustration, it did bring it to a halt.

Seriously... I can't take it anymore!
I started thinking about "blinders" that are used on horses.

Here's the definition of blinders:
1. A pair of leather flaps attached to a horse's bridle to curtail side vision. Also called blinkers.
2. Something that serves to obscure clear perception and discernment.

Most of the time, we use the term "blinded" or "blinders" to refer to things that keep us from the main goal, as in the secondary definition above. For example, I was so blinded by my own pride. Or: My desire for control, is like a blinder to the real needs around me.

These sentences do communicate the intended meaning -- that certain things distract us from what is most important.

Photo taken from here.
But when blinders are used on horses, it helps them to not see the things around them and thus aiding them to move forward freely.  Blinders, for them, are actually helpful.

I wonder if sometimes we need these so called 'blinders' for our own lives.  Something to help us stay focused on the main thing.

Jason frequently says to me, "These are small potatoes," or "These are just little foxes."

The "little foxes" reference comes from Song of Solomon 2:15:
"Catch all the foxes, those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!"

This is a Biblical challenge and reminder to us to not let the little things in life take away from the bigger things.
Aww, so cute.  Yeah.  If you only knew.

In this case, our marriage relationship.

If allowed, these little foxes can cause destruction.
They can tear things down.
And ultimately, they can destroy.

Sometimes we need blinders to keep these little foxes out...or...in my case...the little Reagan.

So.
What are your little foxes these days?
And what do find helpful to use as blinders?

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