Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I found a copy of The Prophet at my local used bookstore and snatched it up because I knew that I had found several quotes from it previously that I was very excited. I read this one last week and really felt it resonate with me.
I have mentioned pruning before, although I think it might have been on my previous blog. How pruning takes off dead or excessive branches so that those that are most needed and have the greatest possibility of producing the greatest crop are given the full nutrients and water available. When people prune their trees they often have to use a paste to cover over the raw parts on the tree so that they can heal. If they don’t seal it off, the tree might become infected or not produce a better crop because its still trying to figure out what is happening on that particular branch. Pruning also helps shape the tree so that it is possible to get the most possible light needed for it to grow big and strong.
I am rooted, but I flow. ~ Virginia Woolf
And root systems have always fascinated me. Several times walking in the woods up north by the cottage, we would come across fallen trees whose root systems had been pulled up from the ground when they fell over. Some of these roots were taller than I was…and that was only a part of the system…a lot of it remained hidden underground. Shallow roots holding up a big tree don’t do a lot to keep it vertical. A large tree needs deep roots that intersect and go down deep, both to get nutrients and water but also for it to remain standing tall and healthy.
So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run ~ Henry David Thoreau
Being rooted is something we as human’s often talk about. Our ‘roots’ are where we came from, the family we are a part of, the region we grew up in. Planting ‘roots’ is getting settled in a new area, learning the lay of the land and the people. Roots sometimes reflect the values we have been brough up with and where we find those values in our life.
Those who believe in Jesus because their parents do and that is the way they have grown up, don’t always understand what it means to be IN relationship with Jesus as a choice that they have made for themselves. To not know that this often means surrender and sacrifice on our part, and unmerited grace and outstanding forgiveness on His part, is to find yourself with very shallow roots. Often those who do not have a grasp on what a relationship with Christ looks like, will find themselves blown this way and that with suggestions of the worldviews they encounter in life. This looks a lot like a tree that seems to be thriving above ground, but whose roots run just below the ground. They are strong enough to keep the tree upright as long as not too much in the way of natural forces comes its way…but send a mighty wind, or a torrential downpour and the stability of the tree is threatened.
Those who have come to know Christ as THEIR Lord and understand the depth of relationship with Him, have developed deep roots, growing down into the water source, into the nutrients not eaten up by other growth, and establishing a firm foundation for the trees growth skyward. They drink from the Word of the Lord, they are nourished on daily communion with Him, they delve deep into relationship with others who love the Lord and who desire to grow in their knowledge and Love of Him.
Col 2:6-7 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”