I heard a story today:

The wolf was giddy. He was ridiculously happy all the bloody time. He even laughed at his own jokes, which was fascinating, because most of them were terrible. Every day was like this- it seemed as though nothing ever got him down. The beavers didn’t want to talk to him because they were afraid he’d distract them and they wouldn’t get their work done. The deer, who should have feared him because of his eternally carnivorous appetite mocked him- they simply had to say something funny as he pursued them and he’d fall over laughing. The bear of the forest didn’t respect him because he never seemed to focus. One day, he asked the wolf, “Why the hell are you so happy?”

The wolf looked at his neighbor seriously and said, “I have two wolves living in me. The happy one you see most of the time and a different one- who prefers anger and violence.”

The bear was immediately annoyed. He didn’t like it when other forest creatures got all philosophical on him. But he played along. “Well, why does the stupid one that laughs so much always seem to be around?”

The wolf, still somber replied, “I feed that one more often.” Then he ran off.

The bear smirked and decided that the contentious wolf must be a terrible hunter. Then he meandered off toward the river to find some fish.

I’m no different from the wolf. As a Christian, I sometimes feel like I am actually two men- The spirit-filled Jesus-follower, who laughs a lot, loves people and who desires nothing more than God’s perfect will and then there’s the Old Man. He’s grumpy and his favorite activities include stabbing people and setting things on fire. He’s carnal, but kind of funny. The spiritual man laughs more, but his sense of humor is kind of immature.

Every day, the two wrestle. Clearly, the spiritual man is stronger, or at least he should be. The carnal man? If he’s well-fed, he puts up a hell of a fight. He’s sort of a fat kid that always wants one thing or another. The result isn’t necessarily dualism, but sometimes, it feels like it.

My goal has been to learn how to feed only one of these men. I also want to kill the other- he’s kind of a pain, anyway. Admittedly, I’m not entirely there and sometimes, the bad guy wins. It’s no fun and truthfully, it’s awkward when this happens. Oh well. The good guy is continually plotting the death of his nemesis.. It’s going to be awesome and should hopefully involve a falling piano.  I just have to keep feeding him and I think he’ll succeed someday and will end up running the show around here.

Have you ever felt this way?