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let the chase begin!

December 10, 2008

alright people. i don’t know if you’ve read “in a pit with a lion on a snow day” by Mark Batterson…i don’t know if you liked it or not, but pages 55, 56 and 57 are rockin’ my world!

this is the deal…benaiah chased a lion. on a snow day. into a pit. if you wanna know more, get the book!

but the crux of these pages is fear. what benaiah did took courage. and really, you can’t act on courage without there first being fear, right?

the writer explains how in life, “the greatest experiences are often the scariest, and the scariest experiences are often the greatest.” for instances…he gives his kids rocket rides and elevator drops. the kids love it! he asks if it was scary – they say, yes! but it was also fun. fear, then fun! yay!

i am one who can let fear cripple me. i’m not talking about the kind of fear that “perfect love casts out”. i’m talkin about the moment you’re faced with something that is bigger and way beyond you, yet you know you’re to tackle it with everything you’ve got kinda fear! you know what i’m sayin’, dontcha?

one of the many things my thoughts were plagued with when i hit my mid/late 30’s was wanting not to look back on my life and kick myself for not taking more risks.

risks don’t scare me. failing does. but failing to try…that’s even worse.

so i sit here, with a few lions roaring in the distance. i can hear them. i can smell them. i can see them. they’re ginormous. they can swallow me whole. but only if i’m running away from them with my eyes peered for “safer ground”.

some of the greatest stories i have ever heard involved risks, fear, courage. why do i think i should be excluded from that?

the author said, “the alternative to fear is boredom.”

yup. i have had my eyes off my lions for so long, i’ve become bored.

so…lions? bring it on. let the chase begin. but don’t be surprised by who’s chasing who!

you got any lions?

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2008 3:33 am

    Haven’t read it…but I am looking for a few good books to read in the coming months. I’ll have to check it out…………….

  2. December 10, 2008 4:55 am

    yes, my lion? health issues that are sneaking in on me – especially tremors, where will this take me Tam. Right now its more question than fear. I will keep doing what I can and ask for God’s help along the way.

  3. December 10, 2008 5:41 am

    I did this series with my 10-12 year old cell group this fall. Seven weeks on one verse! I can honestly tell you it was one of the most rewarding and effective things we’ve ever done with them. Not only that, but it impacted me as well – changed the whole way that I not only look at life, but at scripture.

    Papa – adversity is one of the topic covered in the book as well. It’s well worth the read.

  4. December 10, 2008 6:09 am

    ugh. That’s a butt-kicker of a post.

  5. heidi permalink
    December 10, 2008 7:06 am

    Tam, this is one of the best books I had ever read. Tough to get through… because it reveals so much of my own heart. Fear Paralyzes!!!

    Lions?? several. scary UGLY ones. (ones I even care for)

    But Everyday I lay them on His lap and I have to walk away not in fear but in knowing that HIS promises will be brought forth.
    These are the lions I cannot change.

    I’ve tried trust me… But I simply can’t.

    Fear is leaving… I’m joyful… and I am at peace because I am NOT doing it under Heidi’s power but HIS like Benaiah accomplished, not easy or mastered but eagerly wanting to do each new morning

    God is showing up in this place, Love you sis

  6. December 10, 2008 8:20 am

    Sometimes I feel so afraid of what I have no control over. Not little things. Big things. Things I can’t even begin to describe. My courage is found in trusting the One who not only has control over those things, but who is holding me up, even now, so that even if I fall, I won’t be hurled headlong.

    Great post.
    Great as in “butt-kicker”, like Mandy said.

  7. December 10, 2008 9:02 am

    stacy – it is definitely worth the read!

    papa – i love that although you are having health issues, your main concern is that you are still available to do what God asks. thank you for being so inspiring!

    mike – im going through this book rather slowly, strategically, there is so much to take in on each page. it really is incredible. so kids ages 10-12 went thru this? thats amazing!

    mandy – yah. my booty’s sore ๐Ÿ˜•

    heidi – “Lions??…(ones I even care for)” i understand, sis. love you.

    joy – “Sometimes I feel so afraid of what I have no control over. Not little things. Big things.” me too! exactly! im somewhat of a control freak. (dont tell mandy. shes more of one anyway) so not being able to see a solution, outcome or path really bugs me. thats where faith comes in…the risk.

  8. December 10, 2008 9:32 am

    I haven’t read it either. The thing that struck me was โ€œthe alternative to fear is boredom.โ€ I get bored sometimes so I guess that means I am not going for it. God is teaching me what my life really should look like and how to do it. I don’t know if I have lions right now, probably little cubs, but my perseption of them is that they are lions. Anyway I just need to do what I know I should.

  9. December 10, 2008 9:32 am

    Haven’t read this book, but I love the quote about the opposite of fear being boredom. Aha! THAT’s what I’m dealing with! I am sooooo bored with my life, and it’s most definitely because I have NO LIONS around to be scared of!

    Okay, I have things that scare me – the economy, my own economy/budget, losing my husband or baby EVER – things like that.

    But as for adventures that God has placed on my heart and in my life…nuthin’.

    Is it weird to LONG for LIONS?

  10. December 10, 2008 9:52 am

    wow, Tam, I’ve not even heard of that book. i will have to check it out…sounds amazing.

  11. December 10, 2008 10:07 am

    sam – i always relate to paul when he said, something like…”i do what i shouldnt do, i dont do what i should do”. i am constantly telling myself..i just need to do what i know im suppose to do. i hope i can. i hope we can. or will ๐Ÿ˜‰

    photoqueen – NO! i dont think its weird to ask for lions at all. in fact, i think thats a mark of maturity and willingness to do what God wants you to do. i think its brave and courageous! go for it!!!

    danielle – hey! get it. you wont be disappointed. i promise ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. December 10, 2008 10:14 am

    i AM a lion… rawr!

    seriously tho… i’m currently reading Wild Goose Chase by Batterson & this one is next on my list. apparently, i’m a bit backwards, but what’s new???

  13. December 10, 2008 10:16 am

    and btw, mt “lion” isn’t even failing…

    … it’s simply not being the BEST or halfway excellent enough.

    *sigh*

  14. December 10, 2008 10:28 am

    jenni – have you read “heart of the artist” by rory noland? he talks about excellence in there. the best take ive read. he compares it to perfectionism. very revealing.

    but also – God deserves our best, our most excellent attempts. i think the christian community, in large part, looks at those attempts as showy and self serving. but when they are offered (whatever “they” are) with Him as the focus and Him as the object of worship, then excellence is the only option.

    sorry. tangent.

  15. December 10, 2008 11:37 am

    Warning: my true response to this post was that I wanted to call you and us talk through everything we’re both afraid of and/or running from. yeah. So. I might just have to do that soon… Be ready. They say there’s strength in numbers. And you, young lady, need to get that stupid book written. (And, by stupid, I mean fantastically powerful and inspiring and blessed by God. yeah uh huh.)

  16. lazrus2 permalink
    December 10, 2008 12:02 pm

    Interestingly, I was just thinking about ‘lions’ in my prayer time this AM! I don’t remember now how I came around to that, but was considering the first century martyrs being fed to the lions.

    Understandably, we think “what a horrid way to die”, but I was wondering if maybe it wasn’t a blessing in disguise. God was the one in control of both the fearful and the feared, and His ways could be trusted as best (Rom. 8:28). The end result was to be in His presence forever, away from all the evil on earth that our real enemy (that prowling lion – 1 Peter 5:8) propagates through man.
    Or, like Daniel being delivered from lions, his courage and conviction led many ‘non-believers’ to worship his God.

    So, maybe that’s the way to look at the fears we face. When meeting them head on with the knowledge that nothing can separate us from the love of God, He will use them to perfect us and draw us closer to Him in the process.

    My fears?: mostly FOR others who deny or run from theirs. As long as they do, they’ll never escape them ={. Yet God will keep giving them opportunities (maybe in increasing ‘severity’? – that’s the really ‘scary’ part) to ‘turn around’ and face them. Sometimes He delivers FROM, other times THROUGH.

    I don’t know if this applies, but I saw this video on another blog today, and it does seem the ‘main character’ faces his fears to receive the blessing for ‘following through’ with courage and humility:

    D-

  17. December 10, 2008 12:21 pm

    ahhh….I have the book, never got through it. At the time I read it my frame of mind was, “I need to find an obscure verse of the Bible and write a book about it” (ร€ la Prayer of Jabez). If I ever get past that knee jerk reaction, I might pick up the book again.

    Our most excellent attempts are like menstrual rags (Isaiah) or more simply shit (Paul). We should consider them as such. If by “excellence” you mean sober, humble, resolve to do the right thing in the right circumstance – to treat others with dignity, respect – you know, to LOVE them – and to provide for their immediate physical, emotional needs as well as, and in addition to their spiritual needs then I agree that is our only option…and we fail miserably at our attempts. Our success or failure at doing those excellent things should never be our focus – we need to simply do.

    Or maybe I wasn’t tracking your tangent…

  18. December 10, 2008 12:45 pm

    …little more on your tangent:

    “”Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'”

    Keeping no scorecard of the righteous acts…that’s where I want to be.

  19. December 10, 2008 1:19 pm

    …one more thought: think George Bailey.

  20. December 10, 2008 1:47 pm

    I have no fear of lions. When they coming roaring at my door I just go run and hid in the closet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am reminded of the Monty Python skit where an accountant wants to change careers and become a lion tamer, until he learns that lions have great big teeth that can tear him apart. Then he decides that maybe being an account isn’t so bad.

    I have actually been able to deal with most of the lions I have meet in life, except perhaps the female ones, as prove back the fact I am still living alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree with you Tam, that fear can be a good thing because it challenges us, and challenges are what keep life interesting.

    The greatest fear of all the older people I can think of, including myself, is that of becoming helpless, being a burden to our loved ones.

  21. December 10, 2008 7:19 pm

    Have them? i Am one!

    The lion inside me is what makes me roar off into one idea hunting it and pursuing it then catching it and playing with it – only to turn and run when i either get ‘bored’ or it bites me on my snout.

    I know i am surrounded by a pack of scary wild lions and that my place in the hierarchy is not all that high – i have a place, but often think i should be higher up – but somehow there are other lions who want those places ‘more’ – and they are big and scary!

    and i’m really a pussycat at heart ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mee-yoww!

    Yeah – i got lions – a long sting of them in my wake (i’m a fast runner!)

    and Miss Mandy has a point ( and i was not meaning on her head ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ – Sorry Miss M) where’s that book lion?

    <B

  22. December 10, 2008 8:21 pm

    yes mandy pants.

    laz – hmmm. no lions of your own? or just dont wanna share them? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    bad – i actually had in mind what we do in the music ministry (with the book “heart of the artist” in my thoughts) thats where my bunny trail came from. so my speaking of excellence there wasnt about it for our sakes or benefit – but for giving Him the very best we possibly can.

    ed – the monty python example actually helps makes my point in that i dont wanta settle when i know that i know that i know i can chase my lions and do more than i am just sitting here doing nothing. ya know?

    love – “only to turn and run when i either get โ€˜boredโ€™ or it bites me on my snout.” mmmmm – that resonates. dang.

  23. December 10, 2008 9:52 pm

    whew. glad i’m not the only one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. December 10, 2008 9:59 pm

    I will SO go out and get that book now!

  25. December 10, 2008 10:17 pm

    joy – lets be control freaks together. we can write a song about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    jenni – yes! get it. ive read it several times and have taken our vocal team through it too. so, so good!

  26. December 10, 2008 10:50 pm

    I’ll do a book trade with you? Whaddya want?

  27. December 10, 2008 11:21 pm

    do you want me to send you this book when im done, alex?

    in trade – would you happen to have “10 tricks to contouring the perfect cheek bones”?

    if not….just send Macy ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. December 11, 2008 12:32 am

    I am so over being afraid. I made it an artform of being afraid I was never “enough” and now I seriously just want to tell the lions to bite me.

    LIVE while you can live, people. Don’t waste a moment. Not one.

    Tam: I’m with Mandy, babe. Write that book ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you need a wingman with the lions, just let me know. Anytime.

  29. squincheye permalink
    December 11, 2008 5:46 am

    I’m reading this book and loving it. It’s making me dream big dreams. I’m trying to chase the “change the world” lion.

  30. December 11, 2008 6:10 am

    That’s a great book with a butt-kicking message. “The alternative to fear is boredom.” Wow.

  31. lazrus2 permalink
    December 11, 2008 10:22 am

    Re: your comment:
    “laz – hmmm. no lions of your own? or just dont wanna share them? ”

    I’m sorry if I was misunderstanding your question, but I think fears FOR others is as personal as fears for oneself. Maybe to define it better, it’s the fear of NOT being who God has called and directed me to be in their lives because I might fear their opinions or perceptions of how I do that. If I’m hearing and obeying Him (certainly not to say I don’t foul that up at times — hence the need to confess and seek forgiveness), then the ‘Lion of Judah’ always wins over the ‘prowling one’ who’s main methods are merely intimidation and deception.

    Jesus feared for Himself in Gethsemane, not just the pain He would endure physically, but emotionally & spiritually to bear the separation from the Father our sins required. I think tho’ what drove Him to face and defeat the enemy through the cross was the greater fear FOR us if He refused to overcome those fears for Himself and open to us the only way back to the Father.

    D-

  32. December 11, 2008 10:49 am

    oh yes. i totally get that. i have heavy concerns for others too, most definitely. and i also have personal “fears”… things that i know God is wanting me to address, personally, for i certainly have not arrived, ya know? i just dont want to ever be in a place where i think i have to save others because i see their faults without first seeing my own and attending to the self (in HIM) growth that He is asking and requiring of me. i guess thats what im getting at.

  33. December 11, 2008 10:52 am

    sara – when you say, “LIVE while you can live, people. Donโ€™t waste a moment. Not one.” i take that very seriously! love you friend!

    squincheye – hi! welcome! change the world lions…AWESOME! go get’em!

    brad – i want to read more from batterson after this book. great writer!

  34. December 11, 2008 11:54 pm

    I relate to that whole “fear of failure” thing. I’m not afraid to risk, I’m not afraid of the unknown. I am afraid that I will fail, defame my family name, and be thrown out of society…I know extreme, but that is how this fear can work sometimes. It isn’t rational, right? I also fear not trying, the “what ifs” of life.

  35. January 4, 2009 7:45 pm

    Lions keep things interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚ So do house cats. I’ll take interesting every day of the week. Although my version of interesting is something akin to intellectual kale.

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