This weekend’s Rants addresses a subject on which I am experienced as a man, husband, and a father. That said, I am still learning.
Maybe I and all of us need to stop for a moment and consider the lesson taught to a young grandson by an Elder Cherokee Grandfather? Do you know it?
You see, by most outward, worldly appearances, I fit the definition of a “good guy.” My Bride and I have raised Birth, Foster and Adopted children, I have taken on the fight against sexual violence, pedophiles and abortion to a national level, embedded media teams into Afghanistan and Iraq and I donate substantial amounts of time to military and Gold Star Family missions. Heck, my LinkedIn Profile page even tells me I am an “All-Star.”
I wish I could tell you that at 65-years young I have it pretty much all figured out. The truth is that I do not, and I am not always a “good guy.” I am often obtuse, prideful, too quick to anger, I fail and disappoint. The truth is, I am in desperate need of God’s Grace and forgiveness at least once or twice an hour.
You see, I struggle more often than I would prefer to choose what I know to be the emotionally and spiritually healthier choice. Perhaps you do too?
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Grandfather, which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied,
“The one you feed.”
Come on, I know you know it deep down inside… but when is the last time you said it out loud so others would hear you? When the battle is ragging under the stresses of the day, are you deciding you need to feed the right wolf?
Never has it been more evident with the current news cycle of sexual violence in Hollywood and the halls of power that, as a gender, we are guilty of some appalling and soul-destroying behavior. Yes, I know you, and I are not Harvey Weinstein. We don’t likely commit that kind of violence.
But if certain Hollywood “A-Listers” are guilty of turning a blind eye to protect their borrowed power, how many times have you or I done the same thing perhaps? Let’s not split hairs.
How often are we guilty of the sin of omission (not commission) when we are with friends, at the office or simply by ourselves? And how many of us are willing to confront and confess our weakness and temptation?
Like the old Cherokee Grandfather, perhaps we often feed the wrong wolf?
In the early 90’s a heavy metal Christian rock band took the national music scene by storm. Stryper (whose name was taken from Isaiah 53:5 “by his stripes, we are healed”) was all the rage with youth groups and now older 60-somethings like me who to this day love our prog rock. They also severely disrupted a good many church “elders” as they used heavy metal music to share the Gospel of forgiveness and redemption.
WATCH HERE: Annie Lobert (wife of Stryper’s Oz Fox) tells her story of the “Little girl lost.” Failed and abused by the men in her life, she prostituted herself and became addicted… as much to the desire for revenge as to the cocaine.
Annie is no longer lost and addicted to her power. Annie is a redemption story gone full circle. In Grace, she stopped feeding the dark wolf that had nearly destroyed her. Today she runs Hookers for Jesus – saved, unbowed and making a difference on the streets of Los Angeles. Yes, it is an extreme story… but perhaps not as much as you might think.
A Gold Star Dad whose Fallen Hero son was killed in Iraq in 2005. He too must decide every day which wolf he will feed. His name is George… Gold Star Dad, George Lutz.
Suddenly and forever, George’s son, Cpl. George “Tony” A. Lutz II was a Fallen Hero in The War on Terror. God-in-Heaven, what do you do with the loss and the pain? I can’t imagine it. Can you?
In the midst of his grief and pain, George chose which wolf he would feed. No less grief-stricken, he took action.
The result of that choice now flies over my house, 21 State Houses all across the country… and maybe over your house. George’s gift to us all is The Honor and Remember flag which has become the national symbol of recognition of all those, who when called upon have made the supreme sacrifice.
Heart, soul, and action. That’s George’s way. It’s our way. Men and women are choosing to try to feed the right wolf… not always perfectly but doing our best every day.
WATCH HERE: My friend, George has a very personal message to share with you today. Take a few moments to be encouraged and motivated by this humble yet powerful man and his mission to Honor and Remember.