Back when I worked at Camp Tockwogh, we liked to sing songs with the kids. One song had the lyrics, “I’m going lion hunting. And I’m not afraid…” At the end of the song, when we face the lion, we run back through the streams, grass, and marshes and admit we were afraid. Why all this talk of the lion hunting song? Because I just read a fantastic book called, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. I hope he doesn’t mind, but I’m going to talk about it today.

The book is about taking risks, dreaming big, and putting your trust in God. Its premise is based on one little line in scripture that could easily be overlooked and is so ho-hum in its delivery that it’s almost comical. 2 Samuel 23:20 says, “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.” Seriously, it’s almost like an afterthought. Oh, yeah and there’s this guy who was really cool and oh yeah, he chased a meat-eating animal that weighed a few hundred pounds and could kill him with one swipe of his claw into an area where they were both trapped and the ground was slippery. I bet the ladies loved him.

In his book, Batterson truly inspires. He’s really got me ramped up to think BIG dreams and to ask God for HUGE requests. God is God; He can deliver on anything, so why not ask? I know that He has a plan for me (and for you, too; I haven’t forgotten about you, dear reader). I also know that I haven’t the foggiest idea why I’m in the situation I’m in right now. No job in the middle of a terrible recession. As Batterson says, we have unanswerable questions and unexplainable experiences. God uses us in ways we just can’t see right now. Since I’m impatient I really hope He gets on with it so I can get paid to be useful.

Batterson reminds us that children live in limitless worlds. I love hearing the dreams of my nephews and nieces. I’m going to be a Jedi knight, or an astronaut, or a vet, or an Olympian. Over the years however, we let the enemy destroy our dreams. If we go back to being like children with God—no hidden agendas, no pride, no inhibition—we can dream big, ask God, and believe.

So for now I’m going to try to do what Batterson suggests. To live a life that is worth telling stories about—which would probably make this blog a lot more interesting. I’m going to accumulate experiences, not possessions—like the pooping baboon story Batterson mentions in his book.

And I’m going to ask ridiculous prayers. Prayers like the one mentioned in the book. In 2 Kings 6:5-7, a guy loses an ax head and they pray for it to come out of the water and it does. That actually reminds me of the time at camp when the waterfront staff was really excited about a mighty magnet we ordered. This magnet was going to help us retrieve all the tools we kept losing in the Chesapeake Bay. The magnet was a mighty let-down. Guess we should have tried Elisha’s prayer.

One final thing about what Batterson wrote (and there is sooooo much more that’s interesting and inspiring in this book). He says that if we don’t like what’s out there—art, literature, entertainment, businesses, etc., then we need to stop criticizing and start creating it. We need to write better books, make better movies, and start better schools and businesses. We need to offer better alternatives. I totally agree Mark! Thanks so much for writing a great book. Obviously I recommend it and it can be found on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Pit-Lion-Snowy-Day-Opportunity/dp/1590527151.

Right then! I’m off to create…well, something. And remember, “Those who hear not the music think the dancer is mad.” Faith is like that. Jump in and see what happens!

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