Roots over Reach to Eventually Reach

The reach of a tree depends on its roots. Choose roots over reach.” Karen Swallow Prior


A few weeks ago my wife was cleaning or just moseying about when she bumped into one of our house plants. I love house plants. My desk is a miniature jungle and while we are not the best at keeping things thriving we give it the old college try.

When she made contact with the plant she noticed that it strangely moved. On closer inspection, the plant seemed to be rootless and not tied to the soil. It was without an anchor in a ravaging world of dogs, active Children, and a woman who dusts. It was befuddling because without roots surely a thing which is a plant must be dead. This plant, however, had the green appearance of life while actually producing no flower or other sign of life.

Thinking likewise of the church or even one’s faith, it must have roots to absorb nutrients, to sustain life and to grow.

As a small church pastor, I can get so wrapped up in a “blooming” church or the desire for a significant reach that I neglect the roots. The long process of being settled dug deep into the rich soil of the Biblical gospel and grace drenched community. It is the roots that determine the reach. And even if something seems to have broad leaves, without broad roots, it may be dead.

The stronger the roots are, the more sunk down into Jesus we are, the more likely we will go further.

We hate it though because we want results now, line items to prove and donors to appease. But life is in the roots. It is from them that fruit eventually comes.

May we sink the roots deeper that we would be truly alive and not just in appearance only.