Chase the Lion!

I have a quirky admission to make….I read the obituaries. I don’t have a weird fascination with death. Rather, I find it interesting to read about the people who have passed on and see a glimpse into their lives.

There is a song that I like by the Sidewalk Prophets entitled, “Live Like That.” The first stanza says:
Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

This morning, I had the privilege to attend a memorial mass for a wonderful man, father, husband and community leader who passed away earlier this week and hear what some had to say about him. His life story reflected a life of love for God, his family and his community. He didn’t just talk about change or just dream about change, he took part in participating in effecting change. Because of his efforts, the landscape of Dallas has been changed for generations to come. He didn’t do works so that people would speak highly of him upon his death or earn his way to heaven. Instead, he walked boldly, but humbly, knowing that the Lord had called him, as his daughter so eloquently said, “to do all you can, where you can, with what you can.”

Along these same lines, my pastor preached a message this past weekend about Judas Iscariot and his example not to follow. Sometimes even though we are close to church and even at times close to Jesus, we still miss the boat completely. In my pastor’s closing statement, he referenced a quote in Mark Batterson’s book, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. It said:

"Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!"

If we are being honest, how many of us actually live in a state of complete reckless abandon? Not irresponsible abandon, but totally sold out for the life that Jesus wants us to live? We don’t have to guess what a life of total reckless abandon looks like. The Bible gives us example after example of people who totally sold out to Jesus. They left their families, left their professions, gave up their possessions and/or started helping out the poor and taking in widows and orphans. And not only was it about worldly things, they were also recklessly sold out to spiritual things as well. They went out and preached the Gospel to the nations in order to fulfill the Great Commission.

Often times, we think that ‘little me” can’t make a difference in this “big world.” When we think like that, we negate the awesome power and might of God. We basically tell him. “Sorry, God. I know you are the man, but I really don’t trust you enough to take that step of faith. Can you come back around when I am ready and you have a more sound proposal for me?” If you are lucky, you get that second chance with God. You get that Holy Spirit nudge that says, “Go for it! It’s not just your dream. It’s MY dream and I need you to be my foot soldier. Trust me, dear child.

The priest at the mass today said that it is in the fourth quarter of life when we finally get it because we have wisdom. Maybe this was just a football analogy (there were a lot of Notre Dame alums there), but my hope would be that for some of us, it doesn’t take until the fourth quarter or the last days on this Earth to finally have a light bulb moment. My hope would be that today would be the day that you decide to “Chase the Lion” so at the end of your days you can truly and honestly say, ”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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