A Bear and Running Shoes

by: Larry Davies | Dec 10, 2010
An older man was hiking in the woods with a young friend when they stumbled upon a big angry bear. Both men took off running but it was obvious that the bear was going to overtake them if something didn’t happen soon. The older man stopped, quickly pulled off his boots and began to slip on running shoes.
“You can’t outrun a bear, even in those shoes!” the younger man cried out.
“Son,” the older man said as he stood up. “I don’t have to outrun that bear. I only have to outrun you!” 
Ouch! This story says a lot about our world and the lifestyle we lead. Selfishness and greed are celebrated as standards to follow and allegiance should only be given to ourselves.
In the business world, a once respected phrase, “job security” is replaced with “corporate downsizing” (no matter how many people lose their jobs.) On the other side of the coin, “company loyalty” now becomes “upward mobility” (no matter how much it may hurt the company.)
In marriages, the phrase, “till death do us part” has been replaced with, “prenuptial agreement.”
“I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you!”
In the most outrageous example, a recent CNN news story reports that a Spanish businessman filed a lawsuit for damages to his luxury car against the family of a teenage boy he struck while driving. The businessman claimed that the collision that killed their teenage son also damaged his car.
News of the case sparked outrage throughout Spain. Hundreds of people descended upon the courthouse in support of the boys’ family.
In a recent interview, the businessman insisted that he was a victim too.
The teen’s mother said she was indignant that the driver would seek damages after killing her son.
No wonder the prophet Isaiah wrote:  “I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. You are as hardheaded as bronze.” (48:4) 
“I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you.”
Selfishness and greed tend to define our culture but does not have to define you and I. We can choose to be different! Jesus said, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” (John 14:12) What has Jesus been doing? He’s been establishing the best example of unselfish, sacrificial love. If we have faith in Christ, we can show the same unselfish, sacrificial love. The secret is our faith in Christ!  
Three workers at a construction site were asked: “What are you doing?” One said: “Breaking rocks.” Another replied: “Earning a living.” The third worker, however said: “I’m helping to build a cathedral!”
Which worker would you want on your team, in your business or in your family? Here is a more personal question: Which one of these workers would best describe your character and attitude?
“I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you.”
Let me offer a change to the ending of the bear story: The older man stops to put on his running shoes and hands another pair to his partner. “Quickly put these on and run with me,” he says. “Together, with God’s help, we can both outrun the bear.”
That’s the right attitude, as well as the spirit of Christ. Running shoes for two!
After much public pressure the Spanish businessman dropped his lawsuit against the family of the boy he ran over and killed. Local prosecutors are now taking a second look at the case to see about pressing fresh charges against him. Maybe we should see if the Spanish businessman can outrun that angry bear. 


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