Afraid of the lion?

A group of monks from the monastery of Sceta – among them the great Abbot Nicerius – were walking in the Egyptian desert when a lion appeared before them.
Terrified, they all began to run.

Years later, when Nicerius was on his death bed, one of the monks remarked:

“Abbot, do you remember the day we met the lion? That was the only time I saw you afraid.”

“But I was not afraid of the lion.”

“Then why did you run like all the rest of us?”

“I thought it better to run away from a lion one afternoon than to spend the rest of my life running away from vanity.”