what do foxes have to do with joy anyway?

joy marianne williamson

We live in a culture of complaining.

A culture where the answer to the standard greeting “how are you?”, is “busy” or “stressed”. Or we use it as a way to list all our problems as we detail just how complicated and hard and complex our life is.

I was struck by a line in this Audrey Assad song the other day, and I just can’t shake it:

and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

What is stealing your joy?

I have been asking myself that question over and over again.

At after school pick up when people ask how my day has been, I find a great list of things to complain about.

When I go through the supermarket checkout, I grumble about the cold.

When I catch up with a friend, I whinge about how I wish it was holidays now (and next week I will grumble about how I wish the kids were at school!)

Why do I want my life to sound more complicated and complex than it actually is? How does that benefit me or anyone else?

and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

I had not heard this phrase before so I traced this line from the song back to its inspiration. The verse is:

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.*

This is written in the context of a marriage relationship and how the little niggling things can cause rifts and damage. But isn’t it also true in our everyday life?

When I look at my life it is in bloom.

I live in Australia. I am blessed with a home, clothes, food, and a family. I have all the benefits of living in a first world country. Plus the weather here is pretty amazing.

So why do I whinge about the ‘little’ things like the cold?

What is stealing my joy?

Is it the need for more and better?

Is it the dissatisfaction with what I have?

Is it the focus on others, and their path or their lifestyle?

I am determined that the little niggling things will not steal my joy. Starting with after school pick up today …


*Song of Songs 3:15