There's a story I've heard my whole life that is said to be a Cherokee Indian proverb...
A wise chief told his grandson that there is a battle that goes on inside everyone. "My son," he began "inside all of us, there are two wolves, an evil wolf and a good wolf. The evil wold is full of selfishness, envy, bitterness, greed, malice, and hate. The good wold is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
(ok, I'm paraphrasing, and yes those are the fruit of the spirit).
The young boy thought for a moment, and then asked, "which one wins?"
"The one you feed," he replied.
As much as I hate to admit it, over the past two months, my evil wolf has had a lot more strength than I would like. I've been surrounded by a bit of drama lately, and just as the evil wolf would have it, it has permeated my thoughts and relationships with the majority of people in my life, including my relationship with my Savior. This created a domino effect, and I've definitely felt the darkness creeping up to swallow me, and at some points, I lost my focus.
There are so many things I try to make my "good wolf" believe like the fact that "hurt people, hurt people" and that harboring bitterness only hurts yourself (the person your bitter toward really doesn't care that you are hurt or mad!). I know that I don't ever want to be a mad/bitter person!! I am tired of having joy stolen from me and those I love.
There will always be hateful people, bad circumstances, injustice, selfishness, adversity, and evil. However, I must choose to turn my eyes upon the One who we are celebrating during this season. I know the thief (aka the evil wolf) comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But JESUS came to bring abundant life.
I refuse to let anymore of my abundant life be stolen.
It may seem an odd time to post these thoughts, amidst the slew of Christmas jolly and joy, but upon second thought, it is amazingly apropos.
I think of old Ebenezer Scrooge, and how he found redemption from his bitterness and greed through a reminder of his mortality.
I think of the Grinch, who found redemption through the love of a little girl and the realization that true joy can not be store bought.
I think of Kris Kringle on Miracle on 34th Street when he said,
"I am not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and has a jolly demeanor, you know. I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of the human ability to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives. And if you can't accept anything on faith, then you are doomed to a life dominated by doubt."
I think of an all powerful God who left paradise to endure hardship and scorn, injustice and slander, greed and selfishness on earth even though he didn't have to. The One who looked evil right in the face so that we can have this wonderful, abundant life and eternity in Heaven.
So, I'm off to feed the good wolf through everything from the big stuff, like the amazingness that is fellowship with the Holy Spirit through His word, to simple Christmas pleasures and warm fuzzies, you know the type.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!