I just finished reading In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. It is based on a not-so-familiar Bible story about a young man named Benaiah who was confronted by a lion that threatened his life. However, unlike most of us who would have run the other way as fast as we could, Benaiah chased the lion into a pit and came out the victor. Instead of letting his fears get the best of him, Benaiah took a giant risk, not looking at how big his foe was, but claiming just how big his God was. He chased the lion into that trap with a simple spear, and provided a lesson in faith and courage that speaks volumes about how we should approach opportunities today.
How often have you been presented with an interesting opportunity, but thought “I don’t have….,” or “I am not……” or “It’s better suited for someone else?” When have you run the other way in fear, instead of summoning up the courage to take a risk and slay your lion? Unfortunately, we have spent so much of our lives focused on the reasons why we shouldn’t do things that we likely miss out on some amazing experiences.
Today, I am running toward a lion. It may not be life-threatening, but it scares the daylights out of me. I am planning a trip to Uganda in July, to visit two rural communities that have asked me to come speak to their women. Through opportunities that only God could have orchestrated, I will be sharing my heart with women who are hungry to find significance in their lives. Just like you and me, they compare themselves to others and believe they are not enough, they have fear that holds them back from making positive changes in their lives, and they want to find peace and joy in the midst of oppressive life circumstances. This is not a lovely weekend retreat for middle-class women in America. This is a totally new place for me to venture in to, and I will run toward it instead of making excuses about why I shouldn’t go, with every confidence that God will bring me success.
When you are presented with a seemingly-risky opportunity in the future, what will you do? Will you run like crazy the other way, or will you run toward the challenge with courage? Will you stay in your comfort zone, or take a big leap toward a new adventure? When you reach the end of your days, will you regret not chasing lions?
Batterson says “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” Here’s to big dreams and being scared! What a way to live.