christian living

How Are Your Roots?

Roots can be be bad and roots can be good depending on your perspective. If you have been married for any time at all, you surely have heard this statement, “My roots are showing!” And it’s not long after that until you smell the familiar odor of hair color lingering throughout your house. We will call these roots bad roots.

But there are different kinds of roots, some of which are good and even necessary. Consider what is thought to be the largest tree on the planet-the General Sherman. It is a redwood tree that stands at an amazing 275 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter and is approximately 2500 years in age!

For something that mammoth in size, you would think that it would have to have an incredible root system sinking deep into the earth. But the fact is that their root system is relatively shallow, twelve feet deep at the most. Redwoods are known for withstanding the worst conditions such as strong winds, earthquakes, fires, storms, and prolonged flooding. You might think that something so tall with such a shallow root system would easily succumb to such brutal attacks. Yet, the redwood not only survives, it thrives.

Here, perhaps, is the secret to the longevity of the redwood tree. It lives among other redwood trees and its roots, rather than sinking deep, intertwines with the roots of the other trees in its area. When harsh weather occurs, the redwoods literally hold one another up “arm in arm”, refusing to let one of its own fall. The roots of the redwood intertwine and also share nutrients with its neighboring trees. We will call these roots, good roots.

Whether it’s your family, friends, business, church, etc… you need to be in a place that has good roots. Not necessarily roots that run deep, though there is nothing wrong with that. You need a place where your roots will intertwine with the roots of others and no storm can ever cause you to fall. Your roots need to be “arm in arm” with those in your group so that you can help each other stand strong when you want to be weak.

So how do you find a group with good roots? Like the redwood tree, you get planted where you are and make up your mind to stay put no matter what. It may not always be easy but when tough times come, you need people who know you the best. You need people who will lock arm in arm with you and won’t let you fall. Others need you to lock arms with them and refuse to be moved.

Our country is anything but united right now. Most people think we’re headed over the cliff and that may be very true. But, if a group of people who share common roots will lock arms with each other, things can change. If  a group of people will look at our history and our values and refuse to give up on them, things can change. It won’t be easy. Storms will certainly take place. But if your roots are intertwined with others who share your values, nothing can stop you.

Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. (Mt 7: 24,25)

As Christians, when we hold to the words of Jesus and refuse to cut corners, nothing can defeat us. Jesus said the most important thing we can do, and he commanded that we do it, is to love God and to love our neighbor. When we lock arm in arm with family and friends who love God and one another, nothing can cause us to fall. But when we lose our roots, our connectedness, we lose our strength to withstand the storm. Our country needs people who will let their roots weave in and with one another, and out of love for God and our neighbor, refuse to let our country fall.

It’s not important that you win the argument. It’s important that you get to know the person and that they get to know you. It is then that a relationship is formed and when that relationship grows, roots began to weave. And then you have added to your number and there is strength in numbers. Social media and fake news are ruining our nation because people form opinions of others without even getting to know them. I read a very powerful story this week and what can happen when people cross the line and get to know one another. You can read that story here.

If one person can make a difference, think what a difference can be made when people have roots that are intertwined with one another. The great redwood tree gets planted and stays where it is among other trees and they weave their roots together and they grow and refuse to fall. We can do the same thing. Find you a group, get planted, weave your roots and refuse to fall!

Whether it’s your family, friends, business or church, find at least one or two people who you know who  share your values and beliefs. Find something that you are passionate about and share it with them. Ask them to stand with you and strive to make a difference. Who knows? You may be the one seed that needs to be planted for the redwood to grow. And once it grows, it stays put for a very long time!


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Author: David McGowin

Ellisville, MS; walking the journey of following Jesus "who loved me and gave himself for me." Hoping to encourage others who are on the journey as well.

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