“Which wolf wins? The one you feed.” This bit of wisdom was from a little story that has made the rounds over the internet for some time and was the subject of last week’s sermon. After the sermon, someone asked “what?” Then I will stop feeding that evil wolf.
The story goes a young one asked the wise chief about evil and was told a story of the 2 wolves living inside – one evil and one good. There is obviously a tension and a battle, so the young one wanted to know who won.
But, if someone claims we can just stop feeding the evil wolf, the answer must be, grasshopper, wonderful thought, but very hard, if not impossible, to do.
If starving the evil wolf is impossible, then maybe the question becomes why even try to fight the evil wolf? Remember the post from Monday? Hauerwas seems to advocate being out of control. We should not take that to mean being out of control like chaotic or bouncing off the walls, rather that when we believe we are in control of our decisions and such, we have to be in a place where we can step back and realize that if we are feeding that evil wolf, the decisions are pretty much already made.
Maybe starving that evil wolf is more about what kind of people we are and the kind of people we are becoming. Maybe it is more about people who can somehow step back and step out in faith that He is the one in control, and that we just have to trust Him to take us those next steps.
One of the Psalms that really rings well with me is 119. Here are a few verses from The Message version:
By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, GOD;
put me together again with your Word.
The verse tells me it is first, by His Word – that is Jesus and the Word given to us, second, that even with all of that all we will get is that beam of light on our paths, and not always and not even very often, a flood lamp with a map, third, that it is a commitment – not to following the rules, remember we can’t do that as we haven’t in the past and there is nothing to suggest we will down the road, rather to following Him where He leads us, and fourth, that real healing comes from the Word (both senses).
What does being out of control look like? We can look at the story of Joseph. Most of us know the story of the dream coat, and how at the time, Joseph was sold to the Midianite merchants (Genesis 37:28). Talk about being in a place where we are totally out of control. My best guess is that most of us would be spending a fair amount of time after that thinking about some really nifty ways to get back at the brothers who did the selling.
Most of us though likely would never get the chance to work a little vengeance. Joseph did, when the famine struck and those same brothers had to travel all the way to Egypt to see if any food could be purchased. When appearing before the official to ask/beg, it turned out in fact to be Joseph. His words are startling, “Don’t be afraid… You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-21).
So as one of my favorite young men would say, but how do we do that? All that can be said, is a hearty I surely don’t know. But maybe turning over that feeling/desire of being in control, and letting God handle the situation is a good place to head toward.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.