"The Lion Speaks"
Several years ago, I came across a story about a middle aged man who went to his pastor terrified, because he kept having a recurring dream in which a ferocious lion chased him until he collapsed in exhaustion and awoke screaming. Assuming that the lion represented something fearful in the mans life, the pastor offered a few possibilities as to what the dream could mean: The man’s boss? His wife? Some weighty responsibility?
As the two of them discussed each of these, the man became frustrated. Frustrated because even though all of these caused a bit of angst in him, none were enough to explain the intensity of the nightmare. Feeling a bit uncertain about the situation, the pastor decided to pray with the man and ask God for wisdom and understanding.
After the prayer, the pastor said "Next time you have the dream,and the lion is chasing you, I want you to turn around and ask the lion who he is, what he wants and what he’s doing in your life". Shifting uneasily in his chair, the man closed his eyes and began to recall the dream. “The lion is snorting and shaking his head right there in front of me…..I ask him who he is and….he says “I’m your courage and your strength why are you running from me”
Reading this story years ago as a pretentious, 18 year old kid, I laughed. Today, as I trudge through the first half of my 20’s, I weep. You see, I laughed then because I couldn’t see it. I weep now because I am convinced that it is a parable for the men of our time. Our Modern secular culture tells us men that manhood only comes when we have the truck, the cigar, the beer and bikini model. But the older I get, the more I am convinced that authentic manhood is not seized and grasped, but given and bestowed: even by the lion himself.
The Lion dream image suggests that authentic manhood is a fearful thing, that we men today—-even as we long to be “real men” are afraid of the courage and strength it bears. I also weep today because I can see this very fear in myself, creeping into every part of my life and stunting the growth of the man I am to become. From excelling in academics to offering the woman that I love a Godly and authentic strength and courage.
And so, as I stand amidst the jungle, the lion before me, I pray that I do not run, but face the lion in all of his ferocity and fierceness and strength. I’m tired of running….. running from the Lion of Judah
Sincerely with “Fierceness” and “Reflection” and “Urgency”,