“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
Have you ever returned to a place and felt like you didn’t belong? As if the memories you share could easily have been someone else’s?
The truth is, that feeling isn’t unfounded, those memories were someone else’s. You see, we never return to the same place the same way or as the same person. As time changes, so do you, and that is why it feels strange visiting a place that has stood the test of time.
Returning to our Roots
Lately, in America, there has been a fascination with family history and DNA. It seems like almost everyone has tried Ancestry.com out of curiosity and the inner desire to discover more, not about their families, but about themselves. As if knowing that your great-great-grandfather was a barber will make any difference in better understanding your own purpose or destiny.
Roots are important, and it is wise to better understand your family’s generational sins, patterns, giftings, etc. However, they don’t necessarily have to play a significant role in your own life and walk. Knowing my family past, I can assure you that I am quite different from many of them, as my life can attest. At the same time, I do share some qualities they possessed, likes and dislikes, personality traits, and so on.
But as many in my family were loosely Catholic or Jehovah Witness, I am a Christian. And that in and of itself has changed me. Perhaps, being grafted into God’s family tree will lead to me reflecting more of Him, and less of my earthly heritage.
Deep and Shallow Roots
Another thought comes to mind when I think about “roots.” As the image above illustrates, plants can either be deeply rooted or shallow-rooted. In nature, both have their pros and cons. A shallow-rooted plant grows very quickly, but a strong gust of wind can rip it from the ground. A deep-rooted plant takes a long time to grow, but once it has, it will withstand the strongest of storms and will also survive drought, reaching deep into the earth for water.
As Christians, we fall into one of these categories. Is our faith shallow or deep-reaching? Are we full of passion but lacking relationship or depth? Do we stand strong when storms come or are we easily swayed and overcome by fear? Are we rushing toward the destination and forgetting to savor the journey, the personal walk with God that can’t be rushed through?
Deep wisdom and faith take time to acquire as more often than not, in order to really learn something, we must believe it, and to believe it, we must live it. The greatest lessons are learned by doing and failing. Like a child learning to ride their bike, it takes many times, falls and scraped knees, before they are truly riding.
Seek deep roots. Let God do a work within you, peeling back the layers of your heart. It’s painful, it takes time, it takes humility and submission…but it is all part of the journey. That is how you survive the storms of life and the times of drought when you must press deeper and farther for truth and guidance.
We are not creatures of the desert, whose plants naturally are tough. We are creatures of the garden, whose plants needed to be tended and nourished by the love of God. Without Him, His light, and His rain…we cannot hope to grow and change.
My childhood home, the old school, even the church of my youth…are strangely distant and blurry. Not that I have forgotten, but that, they have forgotten me. I’m out of place, and I long to be more so…because my true home is not of this world.
That is who I am becoming, are you?