Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Root Bound

If you’ve ever been exposed to plants or gardening at all, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term root bound. Every spring when I buy flowers for my yard, I’m amazed at all the roots wound around in the bottoms of the little plastic containers. Once you rescue those tiny little plants out of those plastic shells potting them into a bigger space, they take off. It seems like over night they get thicker, taller, and then in a few days, more blooms begin to form. Don’t let me mislead you though, I really don’t have a green thumb, but I do enjoy planting flowers for my porch and in our yard.

What happens though if a plant is root bound and is never moved to the ground or to a bigger pot? Its growth is stunted; it stops blooming, gets weaker, and given long enough, the plant will die. The roots grow so tightly beneath the surface that the plant actually chokes and suffocates the life from itself. On the opposite side of the spectrum though, once you put that plant out in the proper soil or in a larger pot, the roots can grow deeper and expand farther out. The plant thrives, the roots reaching farther beneath the surface than ever imagined spreading out to new places to draw nutrients from the soil. The next thing you know the plant is loaded with blooms.

What about us? Do we get root bound in our relationship with our Savior? In our faith? I know for myself, it is so easy to just stay in my familiar, comfortable pot. Its not long though before I end up wondering why I don’t have any “life” about me. My roots are wrapping tighter and tighter around me beneath the surface. If I allow God to pull me out of where I am and plant me in a new place, my spirit and faith can grow stronger, my roots deeper, and someday, I will bloom flowers reflective of His Son.

In Genesis 12 when God told Abram (who later becomes Abraham) to leave his home country leading him away from what was known and comfortable, God revealed to him along the journey that the land of Canaan would one day belong to his descendants. Abram built an altar there as a memorial and dedicated it to God. What did Abram do next though? He moved on. For some reason, that surprised me. I know I would have wanted to set up camp right there and begin to build a permanent dwelling. He didn’t stay right there in that one spot, just because God had revealed something there. He kept on going through the land. Had he stayed in one spot, Abram would not have known what the land of Canaan was really like and he may not have been close enough to get to Egypt when the famine came.

This has really been on my mind for several days. If I don’t move on with Him when He has revealed something to me instead of staying behind in that same place with a chokehold on what He promised me, I will never experience the journey He intends to take me on. It’s a great idea to build a memorial to come back to, but not to live at. I will never bloom to the potential that He desires for me if my roots are bound around my heart. Yes, he makes promises, but sometimes He doesn’t reveal the big picture of how we get to that promise all at once. We must allow Him to plant us in new soil to allow our roots to grow farther beneath the surface so that we get stronger.

Isn’t a destination much more exciting when you have enjoyed the journey along the way?

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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