A few years ago at the National Pastor’s Convention, one of the freebee’s given to everyone was the just released book called Chasing a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars (by Mark Batterson, Multnomah Press). As I was clearing-out some stuff from my office last month, I ran across this book. I thought it might be a good one to take on our vacation/job hunting trip to Hawaii. I was right, there’s lots of inspiration in this book!

The book is based on an obscure story in the Old Testament of Beniah, who chased and killed a lion (2 Sam. 23:20-21). It’s not a story I remembered in my Old Testament reading, but it now certainly is a story that has impacted my life.

There are many great quotes that I’d love to share, but it would take-up too much room here. I scanned the book, after reading it to pull-out my top 10, but have decided that even that’s too many.

So, here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“. . . success is making the most of every opportunity. Spiritual maturity is seeing and seizing God-ordained opportunities. Think of every opportunity as God’s gift to you. What you do with those opportunities is your gift to God. I’m absolutely convinced that our greatest regrets in life will be missed opportunities.” p. 17

Guaranteed Uncertainty: To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation.” quote from Oswald Chambers, p.79

Faith doesn’t reduce uncertainty. Faith embraces uncertainty. p.85

Jesus never promised security. What he promised was uncertainty. . . I know that part of us wants God to take us to a 3 act play with a clearly defined plot. . . But Jesus takes us to the Improv instead. We want the entire script up front, but that would undermine our dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Following Jesus and keeping in step with the Spirit require the art of improvisation. We’ve got to develop an affinity for uncertainty and lear to enjoy the journey.” p.90

“Have you read the Bible lately? Faith is risky business. The goal of faith is not the elimination of risk. In fact, the greatest risk is taking no risks.” (Think of the Parable of the Talents) p. 109

Failing to take a risk is almost like losing a jigsaw puzzle piece of your life. It leaves a gaping hole. When we get to the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the missing pieces.” p. 115-116

To the average person, the circumstances presented to Benaiah were problems to run away from, not opportunities to be seized. But Benaiah didn’t see a 500 pound problem. He saw a lion skin hanging in his tent. p. 132-133

This book probably means a lot more to me now, than if I had read it 3 years ago. I now find myself in a situation I didn’t choose (being laid-off by the Mission and Ministry Board). A few people have tried to encourage me to see this as a time of new opportunity, of pursuing dreams and passions that I might not have done by staying in my former position. So, I’m here in Hawaii with my wife to explore a dream we’ve had for 10 years: living here and serving God.

The author, Mark Batterson, also writes on page 30, “God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.”. What a comforting thought! God is seeking to guide us in greater ways than our seeking to be in God’s will. But as the author says over and over again, we have to take risks, and not wait for every detail to line-up before stepping out.

How do you take risks? What needs to be in place before you “step-out in faith”? What’s your dream? What steps do you need to take to reach that dream?

I’d love to hear from you!