I have a pastor who preaches like he’s talking to me over a cup of coffee—which is how I try to write, by the way.
This past Sunday he told a Cherokee story I had never heard—at least not that I recall.
It was a story just as fit for Native Americans in the 1800’s as it is for New Americans in this media-driven age.
There are several versions of the legend, I’ve discovered. But they all end with two hungry wolves.
A Cherokee boy was upset, and he took the problem to his grandfather.
“There’s a battle going on inside you,” the grandfather said.
“Two wolves are fighting. One is evil. He’s angry, selfish, and greedy. All he wants is to stir up trouble. The other is good. He’s kind, compassionate, and generous. What he wants most of all is peace.”
“Which wolf will win?” the boy asked.
“The one you feed.”
It’s hard not to feed the big, bad wolf.
I feed him every time I think about some people who’ve done me wrong—or worse, who’ve done something low-down and good-for-nothing to my wife or one of my kids.
In fact, I’m feeding the wolf right now as I think about someone I’d love to sucker punch into a mud hole.
Oh rats, now another person is coming to mind.
See what I mean?
In merely writing this blog post, I can feed the bad wolf.
I can feed him, too, when I turn on the radio or TV. Especially the news.
Some of those “news” channels really can howl.
They don’t howl to inform us.
They howl to stir us up.
The Cherokees should have made this a fox story.
Here’s an idea. It comes from the Apostle Paul. When we land on the wrong channel or when the face of the spawn of Satan pops into our head:
“Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things…. Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord. I will say it again. Be joyful” (Philippians 4:8, 4, NIRV).
Which raises a question I’m wondering at the moment.
What does feeding the good wolf look like to you?