Monday, July 14, 2008
Live Deeply Rooted
There were many storms in the Shenandoah National Forest last year. There were several ice storms and countless numbers of thunder storms and wind gusts. These storms drastically changed the landscape of the forest floor and made navigating the trail systems very difficult. Old growth poplar trees and oaks were blown over onto the trails. It was a mess. What happened to these trees became a mystery to me and I was perplexed that trees of this magnitude would end up toppled like matchsticks. After further inspection it became clear to me what the problem was. The root systems of all of the toppled trees were shallow because of the rocky soils and boulders that scatter the landscape of the mountainous terrain. In fact, the root balls of these trees had pulled up huge rocks and boulders leaving gaping chasms where the trees once stood. Without depth to the root systems these trees were doomed to fertilize the forest floor.
In speaking about following and learning from Christ, or discipleship, in Colossians, Paul gives this instruction to his readers:
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. ”
Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Col 2:6-7
Paul tells the Colossians, and this information is equally as relevant to us as well, to live Christ and to be deeply rooted in Him. The key words here are live, deeply, and rooted. These words do not just hang out there alone however; they are describing how we are to be in Christ. We are to live Him. We are to follow and to obey all that we have been taught and all that we know. We are to live deeply rooted in Him. We are to go deep into who Jesus is by learning all that there is to know, meditating and studying His word, obeying His word, praying, being in fellowship with one another, being in tune with His Holy Spirit, and diving deeply into the depths of who He is. A shallow root system simply will not do, less we end up on the forest floor of faith failure like little match sticks blocking fellow travelers paths and rotting into obscurity as simple fertilizer for more fortunate well rooted undergrowth. We are to live . . . deeply . . . rooted . . . in Jesus Christ.
Sprouting deep roots in Him,