What are you in pursuit of in your life? The Skinny Rabbit or the Great Stag? Dr. John Trent has authored several Christian-themed books related to the strengthening of marriages and families and, as founding president of The Center for Strong Families, an organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers seminars based on his principles.
His newest book, Chasing Skinny Rabbits, answers this question by showing how people are often led astray by nurturing dreams that are ill-conceived or worse, unattainable, and which ultimately do untold damage to the relationships and goals that would bring real meaning to their lives. The “Skinny Rabbit,” he tells us, symbolizes that elusive dream we keep chasing.
According to the author, it is the Great Stag that we should be pursuing. “Chasing a Skinny Rabbit does worse than just get you off track; it will lead you further and further down a path that will drain the very life from you—killing your excitement, your creativity, your drive.” The stag, often used as a symbol of growth and regeneration, has, since the Middle Ages, also served as a Christian symbol for Christ, and does so here as well.
Trent provides his reader with examples of the “rabbit trails”—behaviors that allow people to get overly caught up in the pursuit of possessions and perfectionism. Another behavioral pitfall is counting on the future rather than living in the present. Although this book is Christian-centered, Trent offers suggestions that can be found in many secular personal growth books. His message is that most of us cannot manage all of our problems on our own. We must reach out to others, as well as take some form of positive action in order to be less self-focused. He also recommends committing regular time to tranquility and reflection, generally in the form of prayer.
Trent knows his audience, and as a pastor, his writing has a comfortable, sermonly manner. This book would be appreciated by Christian readers who have benefited from reading his other books and for whom a chatty, familiar style is appealing. Readers who find that lessons are best enjoyed with both Scripture and a parable-like flair will also not be dissatisfied.