Every good story follows some variation of the basic plot line–intro, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.  Tangled somewhere in amongst the dynamic relationships is conflict.  Sometimes, one major conflict defines the entire story.  Others, many smaller conflicts build to a greater sense of urgency.

Each of us is a living, breathing story just waiting to play out.  No one faces the same struggles in the same way–that is part of what keeps life interesting.  The combination of factors that make up my life and situation alter my experiences and perceptions.  My hopes, my dreams, the way I see the world around me and what I hope to give/receive while on Earth all depend on this.

Chase the Lion sends a powerful message to use our stories to create a better world through innovation.  Spectators on the sidelines don’t help win the game—they provide background noise and hype, but do not actually impact the plays called or the outcome of athletes.  Achievements rely on proactively working toward a dream (or sometimes, a dream within a larger dream).  This is difficult for most people, for while it is easy to identify problems and areas needing improvement, it is difficult to put in the work to make lasting improvements.

Mark Batterson, author of Chase the Lion, claims your favorite verse often dictates the way you live your life.  Chase the Lion follows Batterson’s first book In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day, both of which play on a small verse of scripture found in 2 Samuel:

“There was also Benaiahson of Jehoiad, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab.  Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.”

Now, Benaiah’s reaction certainly isn’t one I would see myself as having.  Most people would run from a lion rather than chase it down. The fact that Batterson picked this scripture as the basis for life tells me Batterson obviously isn’t afraid of taking risks, even if opportunities seem terrifying.  He pushes readers to try to view situations from a positive light, even when they seem overwhelmingly negative.

One quote that stood out to me most was “even if you aren’t responsible, you are still response-able.”  Your actions in any situation do not have to be dictated by events out of your control.  I grew up with the saying “Do what you can with what you have.  The rest will take care of itself.”  Although Batterson’s book was a little more “manly inspiration,”  the premise is the same.

He doesn’t claim the world will present you with perfect opportunities–he strives to help you see how you can be perfectly suited for the opportunities God does present you with.  This book is inspiring yet emotionally challenging.  Batterson attempts to pull readers of out their perspective ruts and instill in them a sense of bravery to take a fresh look at their dreams and life’s purpose and search for ways to strengthen the communities they live in. While you could finish the book in one sitting, I find more joy in reading a chapter and processing all that was said.

Take home message:  Don’t be a victim to circumstance.  Take destiny by the reins and lead yourself towards the future of your dreams, no matter how big they make seem.

 

*I received a copy of “Chase the Lion” in exchange for my honest review. All opinions in this review are a truthful representation based on my personal experience.
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