I’ve spent most of my time these first days of a new year reading. After all the crackers and cheese ball, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie and standing rib roast mixed in with tissue paper, boxes and noise – I was ready for a cuppa tea and a good book.
Along with catching up on my Bible reading plan I’ve read a ton of New Year’s blogs about making and not making resolutions, facing the unknown with charity and grace and bracing ourselves for the unknown.
Most of it was interesting (or I quit reading like you do), but I grew weary of all the monologue. Until I came across this Lion Chaser’s Manifesto by Mark Batterson.
It’s excerpted from his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Mark is a gifted, and never boring, writer.
The title comes from a verse your Sunday School teacher never asked you to memorize:
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 2 Sam. 23:20
You’ll have to read the book for yourself to get the full gist of the verse, but Mark uses it to teach us how to survive and thrive when opportunity roars.
So here’s the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto. It’s as good as any, and a great deal better, than any of the longer dissertations I’ve read. I pass it on with prayers, blessings and wishes that, like Benaiah, you’ll have the boldness to chase the lion into the pit, even on a snowy day, because you see it as an opportunity to grow this year.
As my friend, Gary Gay, says, “We don’t have problems as followers of Christ. We just have another opportunity to process and grow.”
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!