Look Mom, I’m Chasing Lions

November 3, 2006 by

I just finished reading one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in awhile. It was also one of the easiest books I’ve read lately. These two reasons alone should make you want to grab a copy of Mark Batterson’s new gem, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.

Using 2 Samuel 23:20-21 as a backdrop, Batterson tells the story of an obscure guy named Benaiah, and the time he chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day. The book is so easy and exhilarating to read, I’m keeping this review brief. By the time you’re done reading this you could be on page 30.

Consider a handful of takeaways:

  • “God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time.” “But here’s the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.”
  • “The greatest opportunities [are] the scariest lions.”
  • Batterson uses the story of Gideon to illustrate his point that, “Sometimes God won’t intervene until something is humanly impossible.”
  • Batterson paraphrases a gem from A.W. Tozer. “A ‘low view of God … is the cause of a hundred lesser evils.’ But a person with a high view of God ‘is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems.'”
  • “God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.”
  • “Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences!”
  • “You’ve got to be exposed to small quantities of whatever you’re afraid of.” “The cure for the fear of failure is not success. It’s failure.”
  • “Maybe we should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking Him what He wants us to get out of those difficult circumstances.”

I heard the roar when I read this line:

“When we don’t have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to him.”

Whenever my brain ruminates on the idea of robbing God, I always associate it with the passage from Malachi about withholding tithes and offerings. But robbing God of the glory that is rightfully his? Roar! How many times do I wimp out or take the easy route, when really I’m just robbing God of the glory that should be his if I would just get out there and chase more lions!

The book is full of the typical Battersonisms we’ve come to expect in Mark’s communication style. Some of my favorites include:

  • A tip of the iceberg for Joseph becomes his “tip of the pyramid”
  • Pharisees cornering Jesus become the “Pharirazzi”
  • Jesus’ temper in the temple becomes a “temple tantrum”

I also get a little thrown off by all of Mark’s oneisms. He seems to have one of everything: a core conviction, a catch phrase, a favorite Bible passage, among others. The confusion for me is that with so many oneisms, I feel like someone should be cross-referencing them to make sure Mark isn’t cheating.

Despite the lull that sets in just after the first half of the book (at least that’s when my highlighter went to bed), I was happy to plow through reader redundancy and let the spirit of the book envelope my spirit.

Chapter six closes with a real jewel for CMS readers: “In the words of Michelangelo, we need to criticize by creating.”

This book would make a great sermon series (something Batterson is trying this week at NCC).

Excuse me, I have some more lions to chase.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

One Response to “Look Mom, I’m Chasing Lions”

  • Jenn Collins
    November 6, 2006

    I am reading the book now and love it so far. Batterson’s writing is very easy to read and his message is extremely challenging. It’s also cool to say the name of the book when someone asks you what you’re reading. :)

     | Permalink