Take 5 with Kathy – "Deep Roots"
On Friday afternoon the forecast was calling for a weekend of heavy rain, so I decided it was time to bring in the rest of my tomatoes, green or not. They would have to finish ripening indoors under my kitchen skylight. I’d already made 10 bottles of salsa and with what I picked Friday I should have enough to make that much again.
So, armed with a pair of scissors I set about the task of snipping off the last tomatoes and cutting up the vines. When all that remained was stalks about two feet tall I began tugging the plants out of the ground. As I yanked and pulled, huffed and puffed, grunted and groaned, I thought, “Man, these things sure have strong roots!” After much effort, and feeling myself being propelled backwards toward the fence a couple times, they started to come loose. As the roots emerged from the ground, I was surprised by the size and length of some of them…up to three or four feet long! I’m sure I didn’t get the full length of them all either.
Later, as I was thinking about that experience, it struck me how rooted and established we can become in segments of our own lives. Developing deep roots are important and essential for our well-being. Things such as family, friendships, an education, physical fitness and health, beliefs and causes, cultural and ethnic origins, providing for our family needs, investing in our jobs and careers, reaching out to our community, serving others, volunteering in our church – all these are good places to set down deep roots.
Sometimes, however, our roots in certain areas can run too deep and it becomes difficult to remove ourselves from what is keeping a tight rein on us – a stubborn habit, a negative attitude, an unhealthy pursuit after success or social status, the gripping attachment to our possessions and/or money, excessive pride in our accomplishments or the number of degrees after our name, working long hours to the neglect of our responsibilities to family and other important relationships and commitments.
|Photo taken by my niece, Heidi, at my son’s wedding
What frees us to become rooted in things of deep and lasting value is the quality of love. It motivates us to seek after the best for those we care about and for our own welfare. Love becomes the basis for whatever we think, say, and do. The greatest source of love comes from the heart of God and was demonstrated through Christ when He gave His life to save us from our sinful way of life . This is the best expression of love we will ever know and experience.
I echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:17-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”