Monday, January 9, 2012

In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

By Mark Batterson

This book is about risk-taking. All risk-taking behaviour require consistent practice. Everyday, we take occupational risks, relational risks, and risks with God. We risk displeasing a loved one by being honest about how we feel about bad behaviour. We risk making lunch buddies feel uncomfortable when we spontaneously help a visually handicapped person cross the road. We risk being seen as a Jesus freak when we tell others how He makes life worth living. Risk-takers are often despised by those who embrace the confidence of certitude, and considered an enigma by those whose lives are safe and predictable.

From biblical accounts, Benaiah, who took on a lion in a pit on a snowy day, and Queen Esther who declared ‘If I perish, I perish’ were in a quagmire with a lion and a king. Both stoically took risks and faced opponents with bite.

For Benaiah, neither the place [pit], the company [lion] nor the conditions [snow outdoor] were conducive or comfortable. They were extremely undesirable. But there was another crucial element to the setup – the person Benaiah had become up to the point of confrontation with the hostile lion. Often, we forget to consider ourselves in the whole scheme of things and that through us, God wants to displace the lion, change the conditions and transform a problematic place into a purposeful place. Not surprisingly, that’s the last place we want to be in or consider home ground for victory. Afterall, isn't it much easier to think of victory when the people are nice, the place is scenic and the conditions are perfect?

I have a notebook that says ‘Do something each day that scares you.’ I like it. Aversion to risks is avoidance to allow God to unwrap your potential and undo your problem areas for a better life.

Batterson wrote [pg 164]: Lion chasers aren’t afraid of conflict. They aren’t afraid of risking their reputation by chasing snakes out of the temple. And they aren’t afraid of risking their lives chasing a lion into a pit. They often look foolish while in the act. It almost seems like they have a death wish. But lion chasers have a life wish. They live life to the fullest because they are willing to look foolish.

Where you can get it: SKS Books
Level of impact: Will change your view of the lions in your life.
Timing of book: Perennial relevance for those who are averse to trusting Jesus and encouragement for those who are facing bigger lions.