chasing lions

I try to live a little dangerously. Sometimes I don't wash my face before bed. Sometimes I let my tea steep a little too long. I don't always handwash my delicates.

Okay, so maybe that stuff's not too dangerous. But I've really relaxed over the years and tried to be a bit more bold with life. There are a few things I do that are a little risky (like walk to close to the edge of the trail when I'm hiking), but for the most part I live a safe life.

Mark Batterson wrote an article that challenged me in this area. (You can read it here.) He takes his inspiration from Benaiah, an obscure Old Testament character who did something outrageous: he ran into a lion and chased it into a pit on a snowy day, and he killed it. Wow. So Batterson challenges the reader to live boldly and stop counting on holiness by subtraction (not doing this and not doing that) and to start chasing after big things for God.

But I have a problem with this.

I was six years old and on a trip to the skating rink with my family. As I skated in that counter-clockwise circle over and over again and I began to be less and less happy because I knew I was a scared-y cat. I was afraid to use the toe stop. I was afraid that I would be catapulted forward and injured. And embarrassed. And I don't like injury or embarrassment.

It took a couple laps of self-talk. "Kessia, don't be a wimp. Just do it. Just use the toe stop. Do it."

So I did. Just after I rounded the corner, I tipped my right skate down and stuck that toe stop into the floor. You can imagine what happened next. I catapulted forward and injured myself. In fact, the toe stop incident threw me headlong into the skate rink wall. After my skull bounced off the wall, I fell back, directly onto my tailbone. This initiated sudden and intense pain throughout my body and also led to back pain for about ten years of my childhood and youth. The only good thing about it was that it hurt so bad that I wasn't at all embarrassed by the scream I let out (that also cleared the rink).

So I think that confirmed in me whatever natural tendencies I have to be a cautious woman. I don't want to chase lions, although I wouldn't mind reading about the success and failure rates of various strategies for chasing lions, or watching a documentary on chasing lions, or even viewing stuffed lions in a museum honoring the great lion chasers of history. But me? chasing one? into a pit? on a snowy day? Too rich for my blood.

But I don't want to be a wimp. I think it's time to put on my running shoes.

Related: chasing kittens & Caution! thrown to the wind