I was biking the other day over a paved cycle path. Along the edge of a road lined with beautiful tall trees.
The cycle path had lines like veins that ran across it in places. Gently nudging the paved concrete up.
Small ripples that might not be felt unless I looked down at them.
Little veins here and there across an otherwise smooth pathway.
And I was reminded that the kind of roots a tree develops over years of reaching up and up are the kind of roots that will not be killed by rock being laid on top of them.
|Beautiful Stock photo from here|
They are the kind of roots that cannot be tamed by the power of people at work.
Maybe they don’t appear obvious at first, maybe we never even think of them,
When we gaze upwards at the beauty of the tree, or seek solace in it’s shade or enjoy the fruit that grows on it we give little account to the power of what is working to keep that tree growing. The unseen depth to which the roots grow, the ways in which those roots have stretched out and taken ground in order for that tree to go upwards.
In God’s kingdom I don’t think we see overnight successes – we see people flawed, rejected, hopeful, triumphant and totally broken – who have had opportunities to develop strong root systems in undesirable circumstances. Because I think that God is not so interested in the size of the tree or even how wonderful its fruit as much as he is interested in the depth of the roots.
Because it’s easy to be impressed by size but it’s harder to measure the depths of the roots.
But when the gaze has been ever upward toward the light and the soil has been good soil then a tree develops roots that can break through rock.
And I suspect mostly it doesn’t look like some mighty warrior breaking free the shackles and charging out it looks like faithful commitment to keep growing down even when the rock on top is heavy and the light is hard to see. It’s the growth that happens day by day by day not the sudden burst.
Maybe you are surrounded by tall trees and impressive people and you are so focussed on where you aren’t that you cannot see that the roots you have nurtured that no one has noticed are slowly, gently but surely causing ripples in the rocks and pathways that are trying to limit you.
Don’t focus so much on the fruit and the reach of your branches that you forget to remember the anchor that holds you steady and nourishes you. Because downwards not upwards is the call of any tree who wants to remain unshaken in difficulty.