DAWNINGS: A faith response to this historic momentThe Rev. Dawn Weaks is the co-pastor of Connection Church in Odessa.

This week, our nation will honor the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and inaugurate Joseph R. Biden as our new president. It could be a time of lifting up our American ideals together. But since the seditious attack on our Capitol, the divisions in our country are on display for all the world to see.
If you are a person of faith, what is your response to this historic moment? I know you are in prayer with me. To what action does God call us? I am reminded of a story that Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins told years ago when she was the first woman to deliver a sermon at a presidential inauguration prayer service. Here it is:
An old man 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 envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, 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, “Which wolf will win?” The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This story illustrates a passage from Galatians chapter 5, which contrasts the fruit of the Spirit, things like love, joy, and peace, with the work of the flesh, things like idolatry and hate. “I am warning you, you will not inherit God’s kingdom with these,” the apostle Paul writes, just like grandfather warns his grandson. Yes, the same fight between these wolves is going on inside every person, and inside our country.
So Odessans, let’s be careful about who and what we are feeding! Let’s resist the forces of extremism that are blowing in our nation. Let’s carefully steward what we put in our minds and feed ourselves with factual information. Let’s choose to be in relationship with each other, especially when we disagree. Let’s stand up for justice and stand against bigotry together. And let’s keep caring for our neighbors and encouraging each other through this time. The “beloved community” of King’s dreams can happen right here, right now. It just depends on which one we feed.