My wife shared a very cool story with me once. It explained the inner battle (“war” as the apostle Paul called it) we all face every day. The struggle between darkness and light, or our old nature and our new identity. That’s what this reflection (post) is all about – old Vs. new.
An old Indian told his son about a battle that’s inside each of us. He said, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is ‘evil’– anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other one is ‘good’ – joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
So the son asked: “Which wolf wins?” The old man replied: “The one you feed.”
Paul tells of us a similar struggle he had in his life. He said, ‘Those things I want to do I fail to do, while those things I don’t want to do I excel at.’ He called it a “war in his mind.”
The struggle of good versus corrupted within us. Between what’s right and wrong. Light and darkness.
Some spiritual teachers say there is no “sin” in us only divine. We are divine beings that need to be embraced. We are like God … we are god (for example, see Psalm 82:6: “I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High”).
But I agree and disagree with that. My personal experience has taught me there is an ongoing struggle between sin (old nature) and the divine (new nature in God) within us
We are created in God’s image (liking) and therefore are divine on one level. On another level however we are corrupted, not like in bad but as with a computer program not running at its full capacity because of malware. It is indeed like a war in our minds. The part that grows is the part that rules.And the Holy Scriptures remind us that in the end we all ALWAYS reap what you sow. This is a law of the universe. This is the law of Scripture. This is a law of God.
Jesus also reminded us that our treasure is where our hearts are. Where we focus, what we treasure in our hearts, what we feed, what we nurture; will grow.
None of us can plant beans and hope to harvest potatoes.
Also none of us plant one bean hoping to reap one bean. When we plant things and allow it to grow, they come back multiplied.
And also, no one can reap what was not planted in the first place.
Don’t expect love if you plant hatred. Don’t hope for peace if you nurture war. Don’t hold your breath for joy if you allow bitterness to fester.
And as with most things in life, the principle of repetition is vital for growth. Should we desire to grow emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally; then we must feed (plant) these areas in our life consistently and neverendingly. Every day. Purposefully.
I once saw a dog in South Africa that was supposedly 90% wolf.
Apart from his owner no one could get near it. Not even to feed it. It had the potential to rip you to pieces. The same with the first wolf in our story. Allow those things to grow in your life and it will tear you apart.
But allow the second ‘wolf’ to stick around, grow and guard your heart – God’s Spirit and his fruit, I would call it – and your life will blossom.
I believe life is ultimately about discovering and becoming what God made us to be and that means tapping into our divine selves (parts) and feeding (growing) the our new nature (as the Scriptures call it).
It means becoming a new wine skin that can contain new wine (to use Jesus’ metaphor).
May light and peace fill your life.