I’ve been thinking about roots.
Fifteen years ago, when my family and I moved into our home, the backyard contained a host of trees, most of which remain. Many do more than remain; they prosper. Trees – once manageable – now tower and, quite literally, branch out. Their above-ground growth does not bother me. That is – with one exception. Roots – once well-hidden and, I assumed, content – are making their presence known by spreading out and up. Barefoot walks in the grass have become risky. Bocce Ball throws have become anyone’s guess and you’re never sure if the bowled ball will travel toward the “jack” or in a completely different direction. While I try to keep my thoughts from evil, I must confess that I have had near devilish thoughts about the potential demise of those pesky roots.
Roots can be frustrating. Yet roots can also provide great support for growth. Tree roots can be both frustrating and supportive. The same is true of other roots – family, faith, etc.
For what family roots are you thankful? Which firmly planted traditions / habits in your family do you wish would fade away? Do you smile with joy when reflecting on the church in which you were raised? Do you never want to set foot in there again?
I’m doing some research. My aim is to learn about how much of the root system (frustrating ones) I can remove without hurting or even killing the tree. Some roots just really need to go!
I want to keep roots (those not frustrating me) as well so the tree can draw from their strength. No one wants to injure growth in an over-zealous quest to do away with frustrating roots.
What is true for trees is true for families and churches. Just as, too often – proverbially speaking – babies get thrown out with the bath water, trees get thrown out with roots. Similarly, families and churches suffer from roots that prove bitter.
Maybe my feet will once again enjoy the unfettered freedom of a whole backyard. Hopefully, the Bocce ricochets will fade away. And maybe both those things will happen without any harm to our beautiful tree.
Now it’s your turn. Think about your roots.
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