Last week I had the privilege of attending the birth of my granddaughter. Even though I have given birth four times, I had always been a bit too distracted to actually see the process. It was amazing. I was convinced of the miracle of life in a whole new way.
The labor was long, and sometimes it seemed that in spite of the pains, nothing was happening. When the baby was finally born, we discovered the reason. She had her little hand tucked underneath her chin, holding her head straight up.
The normal position for a baby at birth is head down, chin tucked, so that the crown of the head is the first part presented. When the position of the head is wrong, the pressure is not even, and the cervix doesn’t dilate properly, making the birth much harder.
I have thought about this several times, and marveled at how perfectly it parallels our spiritual lives. When we hold our heads high and proud, determined to be in charge, we struggle. Life is difficult when we live it on our own terms. But if we give it up, bow our heads, and give God a chance to lead, suddenly things work more smoothly. It is as it should be, and we are reborn.
Are you struggling? Is your life painful? Does it look like a mountain too craggy to scale?
Then bow your head, child.