One of the men that I study the bible with on Friday mornings sent this book to me with a note of encouragement for the “Lions” I have chased and the friendship we share. Chase the Lion is a book written by Mark Batterson and based on the inspiration of one of David’s warriors named Beniah. As recorded in 2 Samuel 23:20 Beniah chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. David surrounded himself with a band of courageous and loyal warriors that would endure any hardship, fight any battle and take on the strongest of enemies. Mark Batterson builds off the resume of Beniah who went on to become commander-in-chief of Israel’s army under king Solomon to write a book that will inspire young men that have yet to take on the challenges of conquering a 500 pound lion and encourages those of us who have lived to face a few lions in our life. As is my habit while reading books I underline sections that I agree with, challenge me, encourage or give me inspiration. The following are some of the highlights that encouraged me and inspire me to continue to pursue dreams that God brings to my heart.
P 2. – If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small
P 3. – In every dream journey there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after every dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. You have to go big or go home. You have to take the road less traveled or settle for status quo. You have to bit the bullet or turn your back on your dreams. I have a theory: your favorite scripture will become the script of your life. (By the way I wrote in the margin 2 of my favorites Proverbs 3:5 and Ephesians 3:20)
P 4. – At the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained opportunities we left on the table, the God-given passions we didn’t pursue and the God-sized dreams we didn’t go after because we let fear dictate our decisions. Most people believe God is real, but few people actually live like it.
P 5. – God honors big dreams because big dreams honor God.
P 8. – What impossibility do you need to repent of? It’s not just our sin that we need to repent of. It’s our small dreams. The size of your dream may be the most accurate measure of the size of your God.
P 13. – Your greatest legacy isn’t your dream. Your greatest legacy is the next generation of dreamers that your dream inspires – the dreams within a dream.
P 21. – If you want to live an epic life, you have to overcome some epic challenges. You have to take some epic risks, make some epic sacrifices.
P 22. – You can’t steal second base if you keep your foot on first.
P 26. – One of the best ways to discover your destiny is to study your history. The seeds of your dreams are often buried in your memory, three levels down. Take inventory. …p 27. It’s not until we inventory our inciting incidents that we begin to see why we do what we do.
P 29. – I want to die doing what I love to do, doing what God has called me to do. I want to pursue God-sized dreams until the day I die. And if it kills me, so be it.
P 30. – Sadly, many people die long before their heart stops beating. We start dying the day we stop dreaming. And ironically, we start living the day we discover a dream worth dying for.
P 30. – I need a life goal to keep me going. I need a noble cause to keep me committed. I need a God-sized dream to keep me from getting demotivated.
P 33. – But once the door to the future opens, the door to the past slams shut. There is no turning back.
P 36 – What was the genesis of your dream?
P 40. – Focus on becoming the right person. If you keep doing the right things day in and day out, God will hold up His end of the bargain!
P 55. – When we fail to take action, we forfeit the future. And just as inaction is an action, indecision is a decision. As Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
P 57. – Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.
P 59. – You need to identify the battlefield you’re willing to die on. Then you need to fight the good fight until your hand freezes to the sword.
P 63. – A dream without a to-do list is called a wish list.
P 78. – change of pace + change of place = change of perspective
P 81. – I’ve since discovered that God-ordained dreams often go through a death and resurrection. Only when the dream is dead and buried can it be resurrected for God’s glory………Don’t put a period where God puts a comma.
P 82. – When we operate in faith, we aren’t risking our reputation. We’re risking God’s reputation!
P 83. – Don’t settle for your plan A. Go after God’s plan B.
P 84. – Many people hit a dead end in their dream journey because they’re waiting for God to go first. In my experience signs follow. If you wait for God to part the Jordan River, you’re going to be waiting the rest of your life. You have to sep into the river and get your feet wet before God will part the river. Faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second step.
P 85. – Faith is climbing our on a limb, cutting it off, and watching the tree fall down.
P 87. – If you want to experience the supernatural, you have to attempt something that is beyond your natural ability. If you want to experience God’s miraculous provision, you have to attempt something that is beyond your resources.
P 100. – Success isn’t winning or losing; it’s obeying.
P 121. – Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences. (I would add: accumulate relationships)
P 135. – You are never going to be more than about 80 percent certain….Don’t let 80 percent certainty hold you back. …A goal is a dream with a deadline.
P 144. – In the plot line of our lives, dram markers are defining decisions. …How much is your dream worth?
P 145. – If you want God to bless you beyond your ability, try giving beyond your means.
P 159. – Even when you feel as if you aren’t making a difference, God might be using you in ways you aren’t aware of. And it’s not the immediate impact that matters most; it’s the exponential impact, to the third and fourth generations. …Legacy is the influence your dream has on others even after you die.
P 160. – Until you can selflessly invest yourself in someone else’s dream, your not ready for your own.
P 162. – You may not influence a million people, but who knows? You may influence one person who influences a billion people.
P 163. – They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed they live a life again.
P 168. – Your potential will be determined by the people you surround yourself with. So hiring decisions become the most important decisions you make because they have an exponential effect.
P 170. – I need to be around people who make me feel small because their dreams are so big. I need to be around people who make me feel far from God because they’re so close to Jesus. I need to be around people who make me feel as if I’m doing next to nothing because they’re making such a big difference.
P 171. – The true test of greatness is measured by the accomplishments of those you surround yourself with, those who come after you.
P 175. – Leadership is first and foremost servanthood. Is your dream about you? Or is it about others? If your dream is about you, no one will rally around it. If your dream is about others, you won’t be able to keep people away.
P 183. – The best way to learn leadership is to serve under a gifted leader.
P 191. – What are you doing today that will make a difference one hundred years from now?
So I have been inspired by men like Jim Elliott, who died as a missionary to the Auca Indians. Jim’s wife Elizabeth tells of a time when Jim went to a football game and dreamed about stadiums of people cheering for Jesus. Bill McCartney, former football coach of the Colorado Buffalos and founder of Promise Keepers dreamed of stadiums filled with men desiring to pursue Christ. Bill McCartney, “Big dreams create the magic that stir men’s souls to greatness.” I am a product of the influence of my grandparents, parents, pastors, camp directors, friends, bosses, the bible, books I read, life experiences and my own children. These have all greatly influenced me and I hope that I can influence my children and others I know and share my work with to influence millions for many generations to come. Thank you Mark Batterson for being a leader who chases big dreams and for the encouragement and inspiration you have provided to me.