Digging around the internet trying to piece together my family tree has been a scavenger hunt like no other. Deciphering handwritten census lines, attempting to translate Danish baptism records, and sheepishly reaching out to strangers to ask if we just might be related somewhere down the line. Finding your roots can be a challenge.
As you dig you learn whether family myths are true. You discover marriages, divorces, children and deaths that no one spoke of. Mispellings, name changes, and the occasional ethnicity you never thought you were, pops into the picture. Finding your roots can reveal truth.
But as much as I love digging into my family history and genealogy, what I find there doesn’t define who I am at the root. It gives perspective to my past, and insight into my family. It gives me phenomenal excuses to travel to different countries and meet new people from another branch of our family tree and swap stories like journalists on a mission. But knowing those things, learning those things, discovering those things… does not give me the deep rooted foundation I need to understand to grow in this life.
When a tree has deep roots it can withstand all kinds of weather. Storms, droughts, extreme cold, extreme heat, extreme wind. The circumstances can damage the tree, but if the roots are strong and deep the tree will survive the season and keep growing. So the question is how rooted am I? How rooted am I that I can weather the storms of life and still keep growing when the season has passed?
“…rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7
When I keep Jesus at the center of my life, it changes my approach to the everyday little things, the medium sized tasks, and the bigger emotional mountains. When he is the root system I am attached to it changes how I see people and the world. Depending on your age you may remember WWJD bracelets (and tshirts and a bunch of other marketing promo materials). What would Jesus do… which honestly was woefully incomplete. What did Jesus do? What did he say? What did he ask me to do?… If I put that at the center of all of my relationships what changes?
Being rooted in Jesus doesn’t change my circumstances.
It changes how I react to them.
Which can change the circumstances for someone else.
If we each took that approach we could positively impact the circumstances of everyone around us.
So where is your heart rooted? What is growing from your roots? Weeds that infect the yards around you? Fruit and vegetables that feed the needs of others? Flowers whose beauty and scent bring joy?
Finding your roots can be a challenge.
Finding your roots can reveal truth.
Knowing your roots can produce life change. If you let it.
inspired by Colossians 2:7 & John 15:5