Now, Katie and I have been known to talk in the dramatic. Our lives are big and loud and messy, and we aren’t afraid to tell each other all about it. But there was something different in that short note. Something that made me stop, find the book online and buy it right then.
Even though the book didn’t sound interesting to me. Even though I was sure that I wouldn’t be changed by reading it. Even though I was a tad bit concerned that I’d just spent $15 for another book to collect dust on my nightstand.
And sure enough, that book came in the mail, and it sat on my table for weeks. Just staring at me. With its plain cover and irritating words like, “What if the life you really want, and the future God wants for you, is hiding right now in your biggest problem, your worst failure . . . your greatest fear?”
[Insert heavy sigh here.]
Let’s see a raise of hands…who’s surprised to hear that this book is, in fact, changing my life?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not disappointed that my friend was right. She knows me well and we’re very similar; how could she not know what kind of book would move me?
No, what’s eating me is the fact that I thought I already knew what God wanted. And it turns out I might have been wrong.
Based on a short story in the Old Testament (2 Samuel 23:20-21), In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson teaches that God has called us to a life of adventure, a life of challenges, a life of chasing lions.
And those of us who answer that call? We’re different.
“What sets lion chasers apart isn’t the outcome. It’s the courage to chase God-sized dreams. Lion chasers don’t let their fears or doubts keep them from doing what God has called them to do.”
As I read this book, I underlined, circled and highlighted section after passage after sentence after statement. If I hadn’t been afraid of waking up my daughter as I read late into the night, I would have jumped up and yelled, “Yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!”
Because it seems I take on a Jersey accent when reading about God and His call on my life.
I tried not to devour this book in one gulp, as I often do with novels. But eventually, I came to the end. And after one more “Amen!” I put down my pen and set the book back on the table. I wasn’t sure what to do next. Of course, I wanted to review the book for my blog. I wanted to tell everyone about how great it was. Like Katie, I wanted to say to my friends, “You’ve got to read this book!”
But I couldn’t. I needed time to digest. And it was only when I left the book sitting on my nightstand and walked away that God really started to speak.
He didn’t shout and cheer, though. And he certainly didn’t have a funny accent. No, God just pricked my heart, poking, pulling, gently nudging me in a different direction.
Suddenly, a new message was everywhere I turned. I read blog posts that moved me. I heard songs that resonated with my heart. And I saw doors begin to open all around me.
Well, not all around me. The Lord certainly knows my limits – and more accurately, my inability to say no to any opportunity headed my way.
The words, the melodies, the projects – they all began to form a picture. Strangely, though, it wasn’t a picture of the lion I’d been talking, writing and praying about for the past couple of years.
As a matter of fact, God pointed out that perhaps I’d been hiding behind my grand plans and fancy dreams. For me, for now, my lion is engaging in today. Getting involved now. Not waiting to live until that big dream comes true, until that perfect chance crosses my path.
Just jump in? Here? But I thought I was going to be moving along soon. And I’ve tried it all here. I’ve stepped out, taken chances, opened up – and it has ended in hurt more often than not.
But that’s what God is telling me. The adventure, the blessing He has planned for me is right here, in this place, in this time. I just have to chase it.
What about you? What kind of adventure is God leading you toward today?