This morning, I read a story on FaceBook. It tells of an old Cherokee who told his grandson: "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, & ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth."
The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."
I was impressed with the story, so Googled it to see if there was a background. I came across this Christian version:
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.
"I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
"But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."
He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me.
"One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
"But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
"Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
I thought about this for a while, and realised how true it is in my life. There are times when it feels as if there's a fight going inside me. In many situations, there is the reaction I want to take, which often will cause damage to a situation or hurt another person--and there's the reaction that says, "Wait. Step back. Cool off."
In my fight against cancer, I have also experienced these "two wolves": the one says, "You'll never win over cancer. It'll get you eventually." This wolf attacked me really viciously this past year, when I lost three people I loved to this disease. But then the other "wolf" says, "You can beat this. God is so much stronger."
How about you? What wolf is trying to gain supremacy in your mind right now? Which one will you feed?
Feel free to leave a comment, so that we can learn from one another.