Over the weekend, the movie, “After Earth” with Will Smith and his son played on the television. (Disclaimer: If you intend to watch this movie, please read this post after as I may spoil some portion for you). I missed the beginning so as far as I was concerned, there was no need to watch it. However, as I went about my busyness in our home, it seemed that every time I entered the room where the movie was playing I would find Will Smith’s son in some sort of quandary and although his father was not physically with him (I deduced that his father as well as their method of travel was impaired and the son went out looking for assistance) he maintained communication with him through some sort of technology. As the son found himself in uncertain and often dangerous situations, his father would tell him to “Take a knee.” The son in turn would kneel on one knee, calm himself, center himself and ponder his options. When he came to some sense of resolution or just the energy needed to go on, he would rise and do just that. As I watched this scene occur several times I began to think about how profound “taking a knee” really is.
Early in my childhood, I learned that a man proposes marriage to a woman by “taking a knee.” At my high school football games, I recall our pom pon squad joining our football team to “take a knee” when a player was injured on the field as a sign of respect. Throughout my life, I was encouraged to “take a knee” to offer prayer to our Heavenly Father. Good things can happen when one “takes a knee” but what happens after one rises to their feet?
I can tell you. Not always what you have prayed about. The woman can accept the proposal, and enter the marriage, only to find that it is not the happily ever after that she dreamed of. Both teams, opposing and otherwise can hope for the player’s full recovery, and find that he has sustained a life long impairment. And each of us can recall something that we prayed so passionately about, only to find our prayers no where near answered in the vein that we expected.
Should we not engage in the practice of “taking a knee” because there is a possibility that it may not go in our favor? Should we instead opt out and not invest the time in this practice? I would suggest that we consider a few other issues before coming to that conclusion. We are instructed in Psalm 95:6: “Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” Kneeling is a form of submission, the act of yielding to a superior force. When we kneel in prayer, we are posturing ourselves, and our will to that of our father.
Jesus knelt in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:41). It was undoubtedly his most significantly troubling place of his existence. He understood the agony that he would endure and he asked God if it was possible, could he avoid the cross. But blessed be God, he opted in. The situation did not change as a result of his “taking a knee.” And if we only seek God through prayer with that expectation, we will fall up short. We must instead seek God through prayer and through prayer ask for acceptance of his will whether we consider it to be in our favor or not. While there is profound importance in “taking a knee” it is even more profound “to rise up.” Jesus rose from “taking a knee” to go to the cross!
Can we rise from taking a knee and return to whatever our plight? Taking a knee provides encouragement, assurance and communion with God. Further, it provides preparation for whatever happens after we take a knee. It allows us to not only speak to God, but hear from God. In the movie, “After Earth” the technology eventually failed. At one point, Will Smith’s character could see his son but neither could hear each other or communicate in what they had previously become accustomed to. As Will Smith’s character watched his son in confusion and turmoil, he uttered the words, “take a knee.” Because this became customary, immediately his son, without audibly hearing his father, he kneeled. He took a few deep breathes, centered himself and arose to his feet to do whatever needed to happen (told you I watched this as a bystander). The same must be true for us. We must have such relationship with our Heavenly Father, that we instinctively know when to “take a knee” and seek him for assistance, and we must tarry there to get what we need to go on.
Also during my high school football games, there was another practice for the quarterback of the team that was in the lead to “take a knee” with just a short amount of time left in the game to run the clock. This practice increased the odds of victory. No matter how long it takes, we can run the clock through prayer and know that the odds of victory, no matter the outcome are in our favor!
Problems in school? Take a knee! Problems on your job, in your career? Take a knee! Problems in your marriage? Take a knee! Problems with your chid? Take a knee! Problems in your finances? Take a knee! Any sick among you? Take a knee! Problems with addition? Take a knee! Promises being fulfilled? Take a knee! Purposes being manifested? Take a knee! Potential being unlocked? Take a knee! Passions being revealed? Take a knee! No matter the outcome, the odds of victory are in our favor! Take a knee! Rise to your feet! And in the words of Mary, Mary, go get your blessing!