Since moving to Kentucky I have struggled with finding my place. A place among friends, work, church, and even a routine for Aaron and I. This has been a major transition in our lives, and it has been a bit harder on me than Aaron. You see, I am not a fan of change, in the concept form. (I am all for shiny, jangling change, especially in our current financial status!) Aaron however fluctuates well in change as a PK (Pastor’s Kid). After living in 8 cities in his 24 years, he has discovered the key to living well in change. It all has to do with roots.
Roots are what provide nourishment and sustain life, and we are no different from plants in this regard. In whatever soil or environment we have planted our roots, we derive our source of nourishment and this flows into our lives. Sometimes, however the source of nourishment destroys viable life, strangling the roots slowly, leading to decay, and leaving us easily uprooted. But when a plant, tree, or person is well grounded, with roots in firm, rich ‘soil’, life flows forth in abundance producing tremendous growth, strength, and stability. In this ‘soil’, we can weather any kind of change.
There are so many things, people, and places in which we choose to grow our roots. For me, the first two were family and friends for a large part of my life, with God coming in slightly before softball. I know, sounds great for someone married to a minister (almost)! I could have done a lot worse, and did at some points, in where my roots were planted, but looking back, I realize that all the places I was rooted were temporary, changeable, and bound to stop providing me with the nourishment I needed at some point or another.
Aaron, on the other hand, has always been firmly rooted in Christ above all else. For Christ and God’s love are not temporary, do not change, and will never stop providing the necessary nourishment to sustain growth. This is why Christ chose to use the metaphor of a vine and branches when asking his followers, and us today, to abide in Him. In order to first have a healthy vine, there must be a healthy plant, with a viable, fruitful root system. In John 15:4-5, Jesus reminds us that apart from him and God’s attentive pruning, we cannot grow fruit in our lives. We cannot live a sustainable, fulfilling life apart from the source of that life, Christ. We must root ourselves firmly in Christ and God’s abiding love and His Word. These must be the first and deepest roots we grow. All others must be planted wisely as well, such as a loving family, faithful friends, and enriching opportunities, but Christ alone will provide the nourishment that will allow us to grow fully into who we are meant to be, and keep us firmly grounded when change pulls at the deepest places.