In Kenya it is not uncommon for children to walk many miles to school. However, most do not lollygag around: They run! Why? Well, a reporter at the Sydney Olympics may have inadvertently stumbled upon the answer as he questioned Kenyan marathoner Kip Lagat. He wanted to know how Kenya kept producing so many great distance runners. Did it have something to do with their training? Lagat replied, “It’s the road signs, ‘Beware of lions!’”
Imagine passing a sign that warns of hostile predators on your way to work or school. It would certainly give you a reason to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. But, if you are on foot, it means RUN!
My mom used to warn me about strangers. Do you think a Kenyan mother tells her children as she hands them their lunch pail, “Have fun at school today and watch out for the lions.” If she loves them she does.
Frankly, this is sound Biblical advice. Peter warns all of us of a lion that roams every neighborhood in the world. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (2 Peter 5:8). We sometimes forget this great danger and fail to heed the warning signs in God’s Word. In Genesis, Satan took the form of a serpent when he tempted man. Today, he does not look quite that suspicious, yet his bite remains like that of lion ripping apart its prey.
So what do you do when you find yourself in lion country? You run just like Kenyan children until you’re safely home. Along the way, just like great marathoners, we become great spiritual runners who will one day wear an everlasting crown! (1 Cor 9:25)