The Problem with Keeping Your Head Down


I’m a head down kind of girl.  I’ve learned over the years that discipline works in my favor so when I need to get something done, I put my head down and just keep going.  Whatever I lack in talent I attempt to gain in focus and effort.  Push through.  Hustle.  It’s a strategy that the world often rewards.

Just this week I got to see the same strategy play out in the animal kingdom.  I watched a video a friend captured recently of two bull elk fighting.  It was stunning to observe these beautiful animals clashing in their native environment.  Their magnificent racks of antlers towered back from their heads and as they advanced upon one another they lowered their heads to use their natural weaponry.

God’s Amazing Creation

Captivated by what was clearly instinctive to them, I asked my husband. “Can they even see each other when they do that? Their heads are bent so low.  How can they see anything?”

We discussed how they were primarily feeling their way through the fight, using their other senses to guide them.  We thought about how their eyes and their internal organs were naturally more protected because of their fighting position.  It all made sense.  I never cease to be amazed by God’s creation.

But today I happened upon John chapter 4, the familiar story of the woman at the well.  A Samarian.  A woman.  Someone a Jew would not have come to speak with.

Jesus spoke life to that woman and the gospel spread.  Many came to believe (John 4:39) through this one unique conversation and as Jesus was explaining this to the disciples he said to them “…lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

It is interesting what we can miss when we keep our heads down, isn’t it?  From our earliest days, we seek to keep our heads down, waiting for that next stage of life.  We survive school, wait for a spouse, hope to start a family. And it just continues on from there.

Survival Mode

Just make it through this toddler stage or wait until that baby sleeps through the night.

Keep your head down and survive the messy middle years of parenting active and busy children.

Hang on a bit longer and you will make it through these hard years of life with teens.

Heads down, empty nesters, you can make it through this!

Focus now, widow, you can survive this.

The world, my flesh, is begging me to keep my head down and survive, but I hear my Savior calling me to lift my head and thrive.

The Gospel Speaks Loudest in the Hard Places

What if the harvest is ripe in the tough years of sleepless nights? What if the gospel is there?

What if the harvest is ripe in those grueling teen years and we might not even notice because we are simply head down, surviving it?

What if the harvest is ripe in those hard and difficult years of marriage?

Because sometimes, many times, often times, the gospel speaks loudest right in the middle of our hard.

I implore you to lift up your heads, friends.  Maybe we are not in the waiting.  Maybe we are not here to just survive this stage of life, survive the holidays, another week at work, another presidency.

Could it be that there is a harvest here – that the fields are white and ripe already and we are so fixed on heads down, surviving, that we never even noticed?

I’m lifting my head today, and looking. Asking.  Seeking.  I hope you’ll join me.



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