Dave gave me this great book called In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. The book takes it’s title from a passage in 2 Samuel where a man named Benaiah encounters a lion; instead of running, as most of us would, Benaiah chases the lion, falls into a pit with it, and then proceeds to kill it. Eventually, Benaiah rises to be head of King David’s bodyguard contingent. Batterson’s central point is that part of living a life of faith is about chasing after the opportunities that God puts in our paths. Often, we avoid risks because they are, by nature, risky, but Batterson says that we can learn from Benaiah’s example and chase after those risks – chase our lions – to find the great promises God has given to us.
So I have been praying to see the opportunities God has laid out in front of me. To be honest, I’m not seeing many of them right now, at least not the big “lion-like” opportunities I’d like to see – the great job, the wonderful writing assignment, the chance to take on an amazing research project, a trip to somewhere gorgeous and exotic. Mostly, I’m seeing day to day opportunities to be more loving, to learn to cling less to people and more to God, to be present in each task in each day, to see glory and fun in something as easy as weeding the back yard. And as boring and disappointing as this seems to me at the moment, I know it’s where I’m being asked to sit.
As Shawn Smucker said this morning, sometimes living into the life God has for us is a matter of “slinging stones” and tending sheep, like King David did even after he was anointed King of Israel. Sometimes it’s the mundane days of life that will lead us to the lions and Goliaths, our big risks and opportunities.
So today, I am blogging, I am grading, I am looking at job opportunities. And I am keeping my eyes peeled for the lion to chase. Somehow, I don’t think I”ll miss him when he shows up; those lions – like Aslan in Lewis’ books – is pretty hard to overlook.