There was a famous Native American story that tells of a young boy who was walking through a field one day and came upon an old man sitting on the ground. With his arms and legs folded, staring off into the distance, it appeared that the old man was almost in a trance. After a couple of awkward moments, the boy finally asked, â€œsir, what are you doing?â€ The old man responded slowly, â€œI am considering the two wolves that are fighting within me. One is jealousy, anger, hatred and vengeance and he is very hungry.Â The other wolf is love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness and he too is very hungry. The two wolves are attacking and trying to eat each other. Over time, one is sure to win.â€ The boy asked, â€œwell sir, which wolf will win?â€ The old man answered, â€œthat depends on which one I feed.â€
As a chaplain, I am well aware of the difficulties many people deal with on a daily basisâ€”the issues that cross their desks, the problems they face at work and the occasional mess that needs to be cleaned up. Sometimes the mess was created by one person, but someone else has to clean it up. Iâ€™m sure you would agree that those types of situations can be exhausting. Having to deal with problems caused by others can affect our attitudes, the things we say, even the decisions we make and how we treat others in unrelated circumstances. Believe me, I know. Iâ€™ve been there! So, as a Christian, itâ€™s important for me to keep checking myself and asking, â€œwhich wolf am I feeding? which wolf is winning?â€
The next time you find yourself in a position having to clean up someone elseâ€™s mess and you feel your attitude slipping, find someone trusting, who will allow you to vent and later, offer good advice and wisdom. But donâ€™t stop there, keep asking yourself, â€œwhich wolf am I feeding?â€ God bless!