I’ve been thinking a lot about David, the shepherd boy. He loved God so much. He spent a lot of time with his sheep. He knew them and he knew their enemies. He protected them when he killed the lion and the bear AND the giant. He had the incredible ability to conquer those “normally” scary, life-threatening opponents.
I thought about him again when I heard Dr. Dan Posey at Texas A&M speak for the Vet School Open House on Saturday. He told us his “lion story” when he was a Vet School student. He was asked to help with unloading a tranquilized, 600 pound lion. But when he went to grab for his head, the lion started to bite at him. Posey’s gut feeling was “This lion isn’t asleep!” In his humorous style, he said, “When it doesn’t feel right — it’s probably not right.” I would suggest that feeling is WISDOM. Posey went on to pull the lion out and put it on the ground, but the lion got up. He asked us, “What would be your instinct?” Someone yelled out, “RUN!” But he said it didn’t even enter his mind to run. His instinct was “I can’t let this lion get away!” All the other vet students had run away. He thought “What can I give him? I’m graduating in 3 months, so I’m not going to give him my hands. Then I thought of having children, so I’m not going to give him those body parts, so I lifted my leg to protect myself and he grabbed my leg. He drug me 25 feet. That day I saw a miracle. Everyday we should acknowledge miracles of all kinds. We carry cell phones. They are miracles. That day, my professor jumped off a 6 ft platform and nailed the lion. They got the lion tranquilized, but the lion got up and was coming after me again and I put my arm up over my face and he grabbed my arm. A technician got him and pulled him off of me.” Posey spent several days in the hospital recovering from his wounds, but he lives today to tell his famous lion story to people about his experiences and love for his career. He wasn’t a lion slayer but a lion player.
There’s two schools of thought here…..being a protector of your body, your sheep, your resources or talents and slaying the lion that comes after those things that are nearest and dearest to you OR playing with the lion and leaving wisdom out of the equation. I think the common denominator here is “protection”. David protected his sheep. Posey was protecting the lion, but in doing so, failed to comprehend the instincts of the King of the Jungle and he failed to use wisdom.
I think of the scripture 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We are involved in combat with an enemy who is powerful and deceptive. Strong confidence in God doesn’t justify carelessness. We still need to be alert. He is dangerous. He’s not a joke. He’s not a little person who sits on our shoulder trying to influence us. But, here’s the deal — he is just “LIKE” a roaring lion and his first priority is to intimidate us. He’s looking for an opportunity to catch us unaware. As in any sport we have to know our opponent and what he’s capable of. Like David, we must be prepared for the times when the lion, the bear and the giant come against us. Not so much to KNOW the enemy, but Jesus Christ Who is our defender, strong tower and victorious Lord. I choose to be a “lion slayer” like “David” — to know when to “hold ’em” and know when to “fold ’em”….er….know when to slay them.