February 1, 2000

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson

In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day: How To Survive And Thrive When Opportunity Roars
Do you remember a guy in King David's army named Benaiah? He was a valiant warrior who proved himself many times in the time of his service to the king. Before being appointed the head bodyguard for David, a small passage in 2 Samuel 23:20-21 tells of something crazy this guy did:

“Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.”

Benaiah could have walked away from the lion that day, and no one would have thought anything of it. No one would have called him a coward, no one would have wondered why he dropped the ball. But his decision to follow the lion into the pit and kill him went against all odds and qualified him into someone extraordinary. This book challenges us to go past the expected, the safe, the known, and defy odds to do the extraordinary that God calls us to.

Full of examples from the Bible, modern life, science, and the author's experiences, each chapter deals with something that could be standing in the way of these great accomplishments. At times I thought this book was a bit redundant, but then I realized that these are basic principles we really already know. The problem comes in when we don't live these principles out or don't even realize we've forgotten them. The repetition and abundance of examples help us to recognize where we've perhaps stopped believing a simple truth and instead let life's hardships shift our focus to other things.

Several key points that I gleaned from the book are
--We restrict God by putting him into our confines, our four dimensions;
--Suffering can be the catalyst for growth, and the experience makes you better able to minister in that area;
--Our perspective determines if the problems we face become our life, or enhance our life.

It is exactly this shift in focus that the author addresses in each chapter, reminding us of the differences between a lion chaser and someone who has settled for status quo. As he confronts each of the hindrances to becoming a lion chaser, he is challenging us to go beyond mediocrity.

At the end of each chapter, a summary of the key points is provided, followed by application questions that caused me to reflect on chasing my own lions. I already have a list of friends I will be recommending this book to, because it's just impossible to read it and not feel inspired to do great things.

Click here for more info about this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books (Edelweiss) program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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