‘Feed the Good Wolf’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

I can still hear him as he seeks to sound just like an older and wiser Native American.  One of my fishing buddies loves to tell stories in first person with an attempt at drama through a borrowed brogue.   As we sit by the fire on a fishing trip he begins “I teach my grandson about life as I tell him this story: ‘A fight is going on inside me.  It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves.  One is evil and the other is good’.  Then I look at my grandson with great intensity and say, ‘The same fight is going on inside of you—and inside of every other person, too.’  My grandson thinks about this for a moment and asks, ‘In this fight, which wolf will win?’  I, then reply to my grandson with these words, ‘The one you feed.’
Since my first hearing of this Native American fable, I have seen it written and heard it shared in a variety of places.  There is such wisdom found in its meaning.  Will I be good or evil?  Will I grow happy or bitter?  Will I find joy or frustration?  All of this depends on the wolf that I am feeding.
Faith is like this too.  If I’m to discover the joys of a miraculous God, then I’m going to have to allow room for a miracle to occur—I must feed the good wolf.  I must not attempt to control every outcome—I must leave room for God to work God’s wonders in and through me—feed the good wolf.  God’s ways are not my ways.  God’s math is not my math—feed the good wolf.  God’s love is not the same as my human love.  It is bigger and broader and wider and richer—feed the good wolf. 
Where it is difficult for us to feed the good wolf?  Where is it difficult for us to trust?  Where might we tend to harbor resentments and massage pain?  I do agree with my Native American friends, if we’ll feed the good wolf, there are blessings to be found.  Which wolf are we feeding?
Jesus’ words speak of an appetite worth considering.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase The Message renders the same verse in a fresh way.  “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.  He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”  Feed the good wolf, my friends.  Let’s not buy into the ‘fast food’ of our day.  Feed the good wolf!

Always Thinking,


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