Bending Low

Blog – 8-3-16
Bending Low


I recently read a story that is a perfect illustration of the power of bending low.

The story comes from Ulrich Zwingli, a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland in the early 1500’s who was striving to find unity in the movement. He found himself going head to head with Martin Luther, the catalyst for the Reformation. Zwingli was at a loss as to how the conflict could be resolved. He was out of ideas, and they seemed to be at an impasse.

God showed him the answer one morning in two goats. Yes, goats! I love how God uses anything and everything to teach us!

As Zwingli looked at the side of a mountain, he saw two goats approaching each other on a narrow path, one going up and the other going down. When the goats saw each other, they stopped and lowered their heads. It looked like they were going to have a big ole fight right there on the side of that mountain. The results could have been disastrous for both animals.

But then the beauty happened!

Instead of butting heads, the goat ascending the mountain simply laid down on the path. The other goat was able to step over his back and continue down the mountain. The goat on the ground then simply got up and continued his climb to the top. As a result, both animals were able to proceed on their journeys unimpeded.

The incredible lesson, the goat made it higher because he was willing to humble himself and bend lower.

Bending lower is all about humbling ourselves, putting others first, offering a hand even when it hurts. We do this all the time as parents, but it’s so much harder to do when it comes to trying to attain our own personal goals and dreams.

When I think about humility and bending lower, I can’t help but think of one of the humblest people who ever lived besides Jesus, Mother Teresa. By bending low and submitting to God’s plan in her life, continually putting other’s needs before her own, living among the poorest of the poor, she became the leader and the inspiration for a highly successful missionary organization and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Wow, the Nobel Peace Prize, pretty impressive case for bending low!

Truth is, though, it’s hard to bend low, especially when you’re caught up in striving like we talked about last week. It’s hard to give up your dreams to help someone else attain theirs. Ouch!

Yet, I urge you to get a clear picture in your mind of the goat story. Visualize that scene playing out. Humbling and powerful.

Then ask yourself how God might be asking you to bend lower?

Is there someone in your life right now that is reaching for the same goal as you, yet you feel God pushing you to lay your plans aside and help them? It may be EXACTLY what you need to do to reach your own goals.

Is there a goat in your path that you’ve been butting heads with that maybe you need to lay down for?

Instead of demanding the things I desire and going after them at all costs, I’m hoping I can relate humbly to others and in the process win their support.

And the next time I see someone coming down a mountain that I’m trying to climb, I pray I will remember this story and remember that by bending lower I can actually climb higher!


Hugs and love,








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