I was fortunate enough to have received a copy of a book titled “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” by my brother, Tyler. Yes, it’s a very long title for a book. However, the title comes through the book as a constant theme of taking life by the horns and creating opportunities out of terrifying situations. In the past, I tended to allow myself to get swamped by these situations, rather than making the best of them. That’s one of the areas where I’ve seen tremendous growth this year.
This past December was one that I’ll not easily forget, though I’d like to. What I learned during those difficult months was that we are wholly responsible for the places we find ourselves. Success is intentional, as is failure. The idea of intentionally failing may seem like a foreign concept. However, I most certainly failed intentionally in December. Rather than drumming up new work, I simply accepted my place and rolled around in the proverbial pit of despair. Not necessarily pleasant. However, it was my own fault. I take the blame.
One thing I’m trying to do different is take the talents and abilities that I possess and apply them into the form of formalized employment. While it is nice to be self-employed (I mean, I’m sitting in a Starbucks now…) a large part of me feels like the kid who hid when the bell rung and recess and now has the entire playground to himself. It’s pretty cool at first. However, you then realized that everybody else is taking steps forward towards graduation while you are left going up and down on the swing sets. While I’m not necessarily hoping to hop in the classroom with the rest of the kids, I feel there are great opportunities where I can gain a good employment position that will help push, motivate, and develop me into a successful individual.
It’s Tuesday afternoon. On Monday morning, my perspective and attitude was quite different than it is now. While reading the book, I read about the importance of praying not for circumstances to change, but for your perspective to be altered. When Beneniah was in the pit with his lion, I doubt he was trying to find an exit; if he turned his back to the lion, he would immediately be overtaken and mauled. The only way out of this pit that he voluntarily walked into was on the other side of the pit…with a lion in his way. Was it dangerous? Absolutely. However, it reminds me of the quote “Of course the game is rigged. But if you don’t play…you cannot win.”
When you position yourself to play a high stakes game with life, you are not often given the opportunity to back out on the bets that you placed. Stick with your wager and do the best with what you’ve been given.
I’m coming to realize that the decision to move to Los Angeles was essentially hopping into a pit with a lion on a snowy day. I refuse to back down from this decision and am willing to fight to the bloody finish until I come out of the pit with a lion head, or willingly accept defeat if my caliber was not enough to have taken this leap.
In closing, brothers and sister, it’s all about perspective. If you think you are beaten – you are. If you think you’ve lost – you’ve lost already. If you have uncertainty in your ability, you may as well quit while you are ahead and in a safe place. But when you decide to chase your lion down the pit, you had better be damn sure — not that you can defeat the lion, because it may not have been done before — but that you will not quit until one of you remains lifeless.
Second closing — when David was explaining his case to fight Goliath to King Saul, he told him “When a lion and a bear came to attack my flock of sheet, carrying one away in its mouth, I rescued the sheep out of its mouth. When the beast turned to attack me, I grabbed it by the beard and struck it down.”
The last time I checked, when you are within striking distance of a lion, the last thing you want to do is grab its mane and close in for the kill. Perhaps you are the type of freeze in these situations, rather than strike out and attack. Learn from David. He was not a helpless shepherd boy who simply got lucky through hitting Goliath on the head with a rock; he was a warrior in development that knew the cost of attacking lions, bears, and giants.
You may not be fighting your giants yet. But if you are being faithful by attacking the beasts that come your way, it will only be a matter of time before you join the ranks of those who have slain giants.
Stay strong, warrior.