The following is a reflection from Jane Lee Wolfe, St. James, Woodstock parishioner and Director of Bog Chapel, Inc. an educational not-for-profit organization that focuses on the spiritual health and spiritual fitness of human beings, from youth through old age.
Many of us know the good wolf/bad wolf parable – the grandfather telling his grandson there are two wolves inside us that battle, the grandson saying which wins, grandpa saying the one you feed.
Ok this makes good sense. However, when we get to the matter of what to or how to actually feed that good wolf, we are not sure what to do.
Let’s look at it this way and discover the formula that grows a great, compassionate, humble and fearless wolf inside, and that furthermore is easy to feed:
The good wolf has three basic nourishment needs: peace, joy and love.
Peace is the good wolf’s oxygen. When you start to get nervous and frantic you are getting spiritually anaerobic and need to breathe. In and out, oxygen and peace. This insures your life, your existence. Breathe in, let the good wolf live and have its being.
Joy is the good wolf’s water. When you get so you can’t move and ache and are semi delusional, you are spiritually dehydrated. You need to take in the great water of joy. You do not have to go on a bear hunt (for which you have no energy) to find and drink in joy. The springs of joy are at your feet always. The clear refreshing liquid can course up through your feet and through your body. You can drink it in also, letting the spring open and splash in your face, fall like a waterfall so you can bathe in it.
Love is the good wolf’s food. It feeds on love. Love makes it humble and powerful. When it is hungry it is cranky and unhappy, and lots of times goes silent and withdrawn. Food called love comes in many, many forms. Unlike oxygen and peace, water and joy – which really have no substitutes, love has lots of variations. There’s human to human love, love of the natural world and its creatures, good food, art, music, history, stamps – you name it – whatever food gives your soul energy and power is good for you. Your favorite love may not be readily available, just like your favorite dinner food may not always be served; but no matter. There is food for the good wolf everywhere. Just don’t get prissy about priorities.
Breathing and drinking and eating take time. Not a lot of time, but they take time. They are the three things that keep you alive. They keep the good wolf and the bad wolf alive too. The bad wolf won’t die as long as you are alive any more than the good wolf will die. But you can nourish that good wolf and keep that bad wolf silent and inactive if you nurture that good wolf.
- Breathe in peace intentionally, assuring your spirit of life day and night.
- Drink in joy and intentionally, keeping your spirit refreshed and hydrated at all times.
- Feed on love intentionally, maintaining and growing your spiritual strength forever.
Feed the good wolf. Become the critter God wants you to be, for yourself, your community and life.