There is an old native story that I have heard quoted a lot. It’s the one about the two dogs, one good and one evil, fighting, and the one who wins is the one you feed.

That’s bull. I’m sorry to the natives and all the people using the story for moral illustrations, but it’s bull.

See, you don’t have to feed the evil dog. It’s big, it’s powerful, and it’s always lurking waiting for the right opportunity to jump out. I can be feeding the other dog all day long for weeks, and doing nothing to feed the evil dog. According to this story the good dog should still win for a few days. The thing is, the good dog doesn’t even win for a few minutes if I neglect it.

It’s said it takes three weeks to make a new habit and six weeks to break an old one. But it only takes one deviation to go back to the status quo. The bad dog is the default.

My current bad dog-soda. I had the habit crushed. Then I gave in a little. Now I’m back to the beginning. Yesterday, I over-indulged and had a hard time falling asleep because of all the extra caffeine running though my system. And I forgot my water bottle today so I indulged in Cherry Coke at lunch. So tomorrow I will start over on my quest to stop drinking my calories and filling my body with chemicals it could really do without.

But I realize this whole which dog I am feeding goes so much farther than soda. It’s everything. It goes back to the fall and man’s sinful nature. We as humans are bent toward evil. The bad in us is going to win unless we actively pursue good. And here the dog analogy falls even more flat. I cannot on my own feed the good dog. It’s just not in me. I need to go to the source of all good and ask Him to feed the good dog. I can’t just try to be good. I need to work on my relationship with He who is Good.

If I look at my soda situation more closely, I can see that me binging on soda started before I poured my first small glass. It started when I got too busy. Too busy for quiet time, and too busy for God. Then of course I needed a strong hit of caffeine to get through the day. Then when things weren’t so busy any more, I didn’t need the quiet time; I just needed the soda.

So now I’m making it a priority to spend time with the only One who can help me out of this vicious cycle I’m in. And hopefully next time I can remember than maybe when I’m busy and exhausted soda just feeds the bad dog and what I need is to spend time with the One who will feed my good dog.