There is a Maori proverb that says “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”.
“A friend once told me about a lecture she had attended. The woman giving it worked with mentally-challenged children and told the audience these children never looked up. They either looked straight ahead or down. Due to this limited point of view, they limited their knowledge of the world around them. The lecturer explained how she started conducting an exercise with the children, asking them to lie on the grass outside looking upward.
She said it was an incredible experience to watch their facial expressions change, as some saw clouds for the first time. An aeroplane flew past and they gasped in amazement. A flock of birds flew overhead, and there was joy on their faces. Then the lecturer shared how she taught the children to stand and look upward. It took a long time for them to adjust to looking up. All the delights and beauty of the sky had been theirs from the time they were born; yet, they had never seen it.
This exercise reminded me of how many of us live our lives exactly as these children had lived theirs before being taught to lift their heads up. We are so caught up in our own problems and pain that we fail to look up. Being self-absorbed causes us to miss out on so much of what God wants to give us.
Our heads are bowed down with sin, failure, unforgiveness—the list seems endless. We cannot see the beauty around us because we are looking downward. In Leviticus 26:13 God declares, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”
God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us so we no longer need be slaves to our sin and negative emotions. Through the forgiveness granted to us by His shed blood, we are free to walk with our head held high. Psalm 3:3 proclaims, “But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”
For some, it takes years to change attitudes and outlooks on life. Eventually, just as the lecturer’s children learned to lift their heads up, we can also learn to look outward and upward to see and receive all God’s blessings that He wants to rain down on us.”
Extract from God’s Promise for Families