While picking blackberries, you will encounter some berries hanging low to the ground, just peaking out from beneath the leaves. Your natural instinct will be to reach down, pluck the low-hanging berries, glance around for any other fruit, then move along to either left or right in search of more berries.
Resist this natural instinct. Rather than reaching down to pick the low-hanging berries, kneel down. I know, it sounds crazy. You’re in the middle of a berry patch, with thorns, weeds and mud. Why on earth would you want to kneel down on the ground, when you can just as easily reach all the berries by simply stooping down?
Here’s the thing. Kneeling changes your perspective. If you see three or four low-hanging berries and reach down to pick them, you wind up with what you expected, three or four berries. However, if you kneel to pick them, you gain a new perspective that often reveals more berries. Often, some of the juiciest berries are tucked back, concealed in the shade of the overshadowing leaves, and you simply cannot see them from a standing position. Where a few berries are visible, more are likely hidden, and kneeling gives you the necessary perspective to see and harvest them.
Also, kneeling slows you down and helps you focus. You may not even realize that you’re rushing, when you stoop to pick, but you are. Your mind has already started moving forward to the next stop; your eyes have already started glancing in search of the next pocket of berries; your feet have already started to shift your weight.
Kneeling, on the other hand, says you’re ready to stay awhile. Rather than focusing on the next little pocket of berries, the portion of the patch right in front of your eyes has your full attention, and you have no plans to move forward from that spot, until you have found and picked every ripe berry within reach.
By kneeling, you will often pick a dozen or more berries, where you had originally seen only three or four. The difference is in the new perspective gained, and the focused attention of staying put for a while.
In life, in general, it usually pays to take the time to search for hidden treasures. We tend to get so busy rushing about the business of life that we forget what life is all about. We’re so busy earning a living for our family that we forget to take the time to enjoy them, and to let them know we appreciate them. We’re so busy trying to please our boss that we forget to take the time to listen to our boss’s priorities and needs.
We’re all guilty of it at times, and that’s a real shame, because it is to our own detriment.
Take the time to enjoy a child’s comment on their day, or your spouse’s tender heart. Take the time to notice when a coworker is having a bad day or appears upset. Take
the time to notice a beautiful sunrise or a night sky full of stars.
I know it may sound trite to talk about stopping to smell the roses, but it is still true. These are the real treasures of life, magic moments where God is either revealing His glory to you, or giving you the opportunity to reveal His glory to others, by simply taking the time to notice.
Just as kneeling to pick berries yields the change of perspective necessary for spotting hidden berry treasures, kneeling in prayer, before God, yields a new perspective on life.
I cannot tell you how many times I have come before the Father asking for His help, and walked away with a completely different perspective on the situation and my role in it. My focus is usually on changing the situation and changing other people’s actions. God’s focus seems to usually be on changing my heart and my perspective.
I approach God, feeling frustrated, and I leave the conversation feeling motivated.
What a change!
And it would not be possible without the change of perspective that kneeling provides. There is simply something about physical posture that changes our ability to listen.
Kneeling, or bowing my head, says that I am in need of help, that I am ready for a new perspective, and that I am ready to sit and listen, rather than rushing off.
Right after explaining the need for wearing protective armor, Paul tells us, in Ephesians 6:18, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit…” Clearly, “praying at all times” means having an attitude of prayer all day long, and asking God for guidance as we go about our daily business.
However, it is all too easy to let this slide into simply casting up God-help-me’s throughout the day, without taking the time to actually listen to God. The focus of prayer should be less on my telling God my needs (which He already knows) and more on my listening to God and allowing Him to change my perspective. That requires a change in posture with time to listen. If the situation does not permit kneeling, then at least find a place to bow my head and listen for a moment.
So, take the time to kneel…and plan to stay put a while. You will likely walk away with treasures that were previously hidden.
(please add your comments to this post):
Can you tell us of a situation you have faced, where you went before God asking for his help and walked away with a different view of the situation? How was your attitude changed by that time kneeling before God? What new treasures were you able to see that had previously been hidden from your sight?