Well after a hiatus in my writing for a variety of reasons, I am back. In today’s post I will try to explain the choice for the title of my book –“From Lion to Lamb”; the full name includes the subtitle “A Spiritual journey”.
Many adopt the meaning of the images created by the animals, lion and lamb. That is, they believe that the title I chose for my book speaks to a change from the nature of a lion to that of a lamb, literally.
What is the nature of a lion? A lion is attributed with characteristics such as confidence, strength, leadership skills and violence. In the business world possessing such attributes is regarded as a positive: one is regarded as being fearless and bold, able to venture into unfamiliar territory… and to conquer any opposition.
The lion is perceived against both a positive and negative backdrop in different parts of the Bible. There are references of wicked men and conquering kings and nations, who tore their enemies apart in bloody attacks.
1 Peter 5:8 refers to the devil as a roaring lion in his quest to conquer God’s people.
David in Psalm 22 compares his enemies to a roaring lion and prays to God to be rescued from the mouth of the lion.
Alternatively God is likened to a lion who raged against the sinful people of Judah and Israel and all surrounding peoples. In Proverbs 28: 1 there is reference to the righteous being as bold as a lion. In many bible verses there is the comparison of the boldness and strength of a lion to the courage of good persons (Proverbs 28; 1 Chronicles 12).
What do I mean by “From Lion…”? One particular reporter asked me if I thought I was some “great person” before the shooting. I smiled as I marveled at the simplicity of thinking and the level of interpretation. This emphasized the importance of this blog post.
So a lion is:
• Regal and majestic
Did I consider myself to personify all these and other attributes? I was not usually bold but I could be bold when the occasion arose. My confidence level grew with my chronological level; I was secure in who I was and what I stood for. As for being strong, people made the observation that I was strong; I did not think of myself as weak but strong was not a word of my choice.
If rights, morals and values were threatened from my perspective, then yes, I could prove to be quite ferocious. Proud is not something with which I ever associated myself; I do not know if my actions and conduct could have seemed to be out of pride. Never have I thought of myself as being better than anyone else; I am and was willing to serve others. However, it was frustrating when having to deal with authority figures who either compromise their values in the face of ‘power’ or who just led selfishly, so my ranting about such issues could have been misinterpreted as believing myself to be superior.
So where does that leave me in terms of considering myself a lion? I certainly had no delusions of grandeur. It is true that I have, like millions of others, great respect for the Mandelas, Gandhis and Mother Teresas of this world but could I ever be so conceited as to compare myself to such greatness? Never! Not even close. So to have someone ask me if I thought myself as being “great” was quite humorous.
Instead I refer to myself before the shooting as a lion because I was confident; I could be bold; I could be strong; but more than that I saw myself as a lion for different reasons. The lion could be loud when threatened or when the need arose for assertiveness. That was me. The lion pursues his prey and devours them viciously. I would persist against a difficult issue or a perceived wrong until its resolution.
The lion represents, from a biblical standpoint, those who are not walking in God’s word, who have not submitted to His Will. It represents a fugitive from God; one who does not listen to or heed to His call. I do and I did not mean it to be interpreted that I was wicked. I was not but I was not always willing to understand the motives or reasons behind the actions undertaken by others. The circumstances which make a person react or act in a certain way were inconsequential to me.
The lamb is considered as meek. I recently was reminded of this simple principle: meekness is not weakness, it is controlled strength. In the Bible the lamb represents the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It represents the righteous. The colour of a lamb, white, is associated with purity and goodness. Sheep, and by extension, lambs are depicted as mindless creatures, incapable of independent thought.
By comparing myself after the shooting to a lamb, I do not mean that I am no longer confident or bold or able to analyse situations and people, as has been suggested by many persons. Rather I am still confident perhaps even more so now than I was then. Now I know exactly who I am – God’s child- and I know what my true purpose is. I know the quality of my thoughts and the importance of submitting to God’s Will.
I have learnt to be more compassionate, to listen with love and to react to a situation only after I submit it to my Father. I am by no means claiming to be perfect or to be pure as a lamb but having come to trust in Him for every aspect of my life I am assured that He will be with me always, guiding me towards His light.
From lion to lamb has a more spiritual connotation than a literal one. The transition from acting autonomously to acting in faith is perhaps what best represents the title of my book. What do you understand by the title “From Lion to Lamb: A Spiritual Journey”? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.