Do You Know What the Fox Says?

I was up late one night, pacing the floorboards with my infant son, when a strange bark outside drew me to the window. There, in the moonlight and the lamplight, slinking between cars parked on the street, was a silver fox. Except for the single bark, he was silent, his bushy tail high in the air until he slid effortlessly under a car. More recently, we’ve seen foxes trotting across the open meadow near school, a gaggle of geese not far away and ripe for the pickings. When we hear about foxes in our neck of the woods, we immediately think about the hens. Currently, it looks like a fox attacked the hen house as two of the chickie ladies are molting and the feathers are flying.

But for us, the fox holds as much mystery as a turkey. Yes, he is intriguing and super cool… but an enigma… not so much.

So to answer the question that is consuming our culture right now, a fox barks… maybe not often and certainly not in highly populated places, but he barks.

I was first made aware of the craze by our senior pastor who referenced the music video and song “What Does the Fox Say?” Of course, being a good little church-goer who listens to her pastor’s sermons, I went home and googled it. And of course, the minute the music started, my little guy came running. He has the ears of a fox. And he was smitten at first look-see. I have to admit, it is catchy and funny in a hokey kind of way. He was still singing it when sis got home and when she heard him singing she dissolved in agony. “No!” she cried. “Everyone at school is singing that stupid song. I can’t stand it! Please stop!” It was mildly funny.

On the way to school this morning, little guy started up again… “What does the fox say?” And then sis says, “Have you seen the video or something?” Yep. And immediately, “Mom, can I have your phone?” Now, I’ve seen the video several times with little man and have ascertained for myself that it is harmless… no twerking or other inappropriate gestures or costumes so sure… I give her the phone. With a speed I can only aspire to, she navigates her way to the Youtube video and soon the electronic notes are flooding my car. Simultaneously, I realize that one of my favorite songs is on the radio, In Christ Alone, this time sung by Owl City. As the pumping, beating quandary about foxes amplified the back seat, the lyrical refrain that tells the story of Christ’s death, resurrection, and what that means for us peaked through. “No guilt in life, no fear in death… This is the power of Christ in me” interspersed with “How will you communicate with that ho-o-o-o-orse?” “Til He returns or calls me home… Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand” punctuated by “ding a ding” and other nonsense sounds.

I’m not a pastor’s kid for nothing. The idea that anything can be a sermon topic is self-evident in my experience. And here I was staring a sermon topic square in the face. Wasn’t it just yesterday in Bible study we were talking about being still and hearing God in those still moments, being present with Him so that He could speak to us? Wasn’t it just yesterday when, frustrated at my own inability to fix a problem that God has assured me repeatedly that He has firmly in His hands and while spinning my undies into a giant bunch over certain roadblocks to my being able to fix the situation, God used music to get my attention? Wasn’t it yesterday that He reminded me through song that He’s got this and I can leave the problem in His hands for good? Yeah.

And this morning, He showed me vividly how the world clamors for our attention in loud, silly, inane, gyrating ways, in flashy, hokey, well-costumed ways. But under it all, He sings His song over our lives. We can turn aside and look and bop our way to the world, or we can continue to listen, through the noise, to sing along when we hear the words of God. Or we can turn off the world. There’s my conflict. Biblically, it is both right to be of the world and yet to be set apart from the world. Jesus was both in the middle of the muddle with the sinners and yet truly godly and set apart. I’m not Jesus. Good heavens, no. So the balance between being of the world and ding-a-dinging with the best of them and being set apart, standing in the power of Christ is a tricky balance, one I’ll have to continue to perfect.

Interestingly, little guy might have hit on the perfect summation of the world vs. heavenly things dilemma. Last night, as I was tucking him into bed, he uttered, “Mama, God knows what the fox says, cuz He made the fox.” There ya go!

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