Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Root or Wither

"And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away."
Matthew 13:6

I used to love moving.  I could pack a house and move anywhere with record speed.  I didn't mind the challenges of new places and new faces.  I loved the excitement of anything new.  Even after marrying and having children, I was always up for the idea of heading out on a new adventure.  However, I married a man that had never moved one time in his entire life.  When we married, I had already had 11 different U.S. addresses, and had done short term work in a handful of foreign countries.  He had lived in the same home of his birth until we moved into our own place after our wedding.  I had a sort of gypsy soul, I guess.  He was more like an unmovable rock. But, I loved my wandering ways. I thought it was a great way to be, maybe even better, than those long-term addressees.   I thought it gave me anthropological star stickers or something.  I loved all kinds of people and places, so why would I ever want to stay in one place for very long?

But, I began to realize that the people that loved me most and were most reliable in my life, were the ones that I had known for many years.  The memories that were the sweetest were the ones that took time and seasons to create.  The people that stood out most beautifully were those that had invested years in their work,  and in their cities.  When I was withering, I looked for these stoic folks for rescue.  As I grew a bit older, I started to see the value in sticking around.  New is nice, but it only lasts for a little bit.  Time tests and tries and produces the fruits necessary for a deeply lived life.

I am learning the beauty in a soul that stands firm in it's place, becomes reliable to it's people, and shines like a beacon to those around it.  I am seeing the value of rooting.  As a gardener, I know that a plant will only last if it eventually makes good roots, otherwise it fades after a season and the beauty was short-lived.  God tells us over and over that we can know Believers by their fruit.  But a tree can only bear fruit if its roots are established.  That takes time. They have to root or they wither.  

Root or wither seems like a question that I will have to answer many times.  Rooting is hard work.  It has challenges of strength and durability.  It pushes through layers and layers of dirt. It branches out underground to find every requirement to truly bear the intended fruit.  It absolutely takes years of cycling through seasons.  One stroll through an orchard, and it is very clear which trees have the best fruit. 

I have withered in many places.  I have attempted  many things with guns-a-blazin'.  However, once the blaze died down I had to decide if I were going to stick around in the embers and really gain the long-term flame, or put the blaze out and move on.  So often, I was content to extinguish.  The blaze flashed and danced in wild abandonment, but it didn't last.  Where was the fruit in that?  It was nothing but a black residue filled ash.

The parable of the Sower (Matthew 13: 1-9) has so many truths, but today the truth that grasps me most is the need for roots.  Roots in my life that take time are the surest route to bearing fruit.  I have to push through the layers of dirt in and around me to find the solid ground on which to build.   I have to stick around long enough to get there, and then when the other pieces of the puzzle come together in God's perfect timing, there will be some fruit. And another beautiful truth is that a well-established plant can be transplanted successfully, but move it too soon and failure will ensue.  I can enjoy the prospects of breaking new ground, but first I have to root.

First, I have to root.  

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