In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day:
How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars
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?
Why I read this book:
I recently read In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. I came across the book through my church, Relevant Church in Tampa. It was the reading material for one of our church’s growth groups. I signed up for this group because the description of the book sounded interesting. Not yet familiar with Batterson’s work, I had no idea what to expect.
As soon as my book arrived, I was excited to begin reading and see what it was all about. I thought I’d just read the first chapter or two to get a general idea. Five chapters later, I put the book down but only because my son woke up from his nap.
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day tells the story of Benaiah found in II Samuel 23:20:
“Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.”
“Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase.”
When you think about this, we all have missed opportunities. We all have those “What If?” questions lingering in the back of our mind.
Batterson explains how important it is for everyone, especially Christians, to have the courage to chase lions. Your lion may be anything…. A career change half-way through life, interning with a company you greatly admire, accepting a job offer that seems like a dream come true but requires a move to another city or country, starting a family, etc. Each of us has our own lions to chase. Sometimes people are so focused on praying to ask God for some big changes in their lives. Yet, when God places opportunities in our lives as stepping stones, we may not always jump on board. God isn’t going to send someone knocking at the door with a key to our golden future. He wants us to work for it. He believes in us and He wants us to believe in Him. He wants us to trust that when we go after our lions, He will be on our side. By allowing God to use us in any situation, we’re able to serve Him best by giving Him a platform to show just what He’s capable of.
Topics in this book include prayer and how there are different ways to pray in the same situation to yield better results; how our view of God impacts our lives, how the path to our dreams is sometimes comprised of opportunities along the way that we may not necessarily recognize…but how chasing every opportunity is the best way to catch a lion–which is a way for us to serve God by doing great things!
Batterson explains the value in taking risks very well. He paints a bigger picture of our lives the way that God sees them and the way that we should also see them. What may be a fork in the road to us, is a simple stepping stone toward greater things. Through stories of personal experiences and those of his friends, he gives plenty of examples of how one small choice changed a person’s life when you’re focused on chasing lions. He reminds us that, with God on our side, anything can happen!
He really puts life into perspective and explains how we can use opportunities as gifts to God when we go after them. When it’s stated like that, who wouldn’t want to try harder?! When you really think about it, our entire lives are a gift. Every blessing, every lesson. Even the hard times that we experience—God is right there with us. So when an opportunity comes available, even if it’s disguised as something else (like say, work), it’s important that we trust in God and use whatever he gives us. After all, one small step of faith often leads to greater things.
“You’ve got to prove yourself when the little opportunities present themselves. And when you do, God will bring bigger and better opportunities your way” (p.145).
My thoughts on this book:
At the end of the book, I really felt different. I felt like this book gave me enough inspiration to make some changes in my life. And that in doing so, I will allow God to do some amazing things that I’ll be able to share with others.
I read this book in about 3 days. It’s one of those books you just don’t want to put down. Not only was it one of the most enjoyable, inspirational books I’ve ever read, but it was also a very easy read and flowed very nicely. This genre of reading is one of my favorites. It’s important to know that there are ways to achieve big goals in live and this book makes the reader feel like dreams are attainable. It’s not just another self-help book by any means. But rather, it conveys a healthy perspective that enables the reader to feel as though one can lead an amazing life AND have priorities in order.
I highly recommend In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day to anyone who wants to enjoy life, do more, and live life to the absolute fullest. Batterson explained so many great principles and perspectives that challenged my older way of thinking. There is enough insight in this book to change your life, which is something that can’t be said for just any book. I think this book would offer a positive impact to your life despite what lion challenges lie ahead of your path. It’s very easy to identify with and the stories shared throughout compliment the message very well.
The biggest lesson I learned from this book:
Sometimes I thought it was selfish to take risks and go after great things. But that’s what God wants. He’s given us desires and talents and abilities for a reason. Our success in life is His success. By accomplishing great things, we’re creating a story worth sharing. We’re telling the world that God can do wonderful things, even through everyday people.
I’m definitely a new Mark Batterson fan and I look forward to reading his other books!
About the Author:
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC. Targeting emerging generations, 73 percent of NCCers are single twenty-somethings that live or work on Capitol Hill. Currently one church with three locations, the vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the DC area. Mark is also a daily blogger at evotional.com. Mark lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and three children.