Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wayward Roots

My grandmother is an avid gardener. In her 70s and struggling with Alzheimer's disease, gardening is an area of her life that my grandmother confronts with gusto. She grows beautiful sunflowers that point their faces up to the very throne of God and she has a thicket of trumpet vines. The trumpet vines fascinated me the last time I went to see her.

"Gran, they are beautiful! I love the orange and green together!" I remember telling her. But her answer surprised me.
"Oh, I can't stand them. I'm going to have to pull them all up at the end of the season. They are ruining the yard and the rest of my garden. They take over everything!"

I was shocked that this woman who takes such pride in God's handiwork would criticize something growing in her own garden. But then that English major in me came out and I saw a convicting analogy. Before I explain this though, here are a couple facts about the Trumpet Vine.

According to a website called "Growing and Controlling Trumpet Vines", these vines:

-attract bees, hummingbirds, and wasps, all of which help pollinate your garden
-they love direct sunlight and grow in almost any soil
-they provide good privacy and can survive in extreme temperatures
-they have a tendency to take over and are hard to control
-their roots go everywhere and often, like my grandmother's garden, can inhibit the growth areas of other plants.
-some suggest that you plant it beside sidewalks or a stone wall to help contain it's growth

So here's the analogy...for those of us that are Christians we are called to flourish. We are like this beautiful trumpet vine...a masterpiece, aesthetically pleasing, a sweet smelling aroma displaying the knowledge of God as 2 Corinthians 2:14 says. Our God is a lover of beauty and if all things were meant to glorify Him, even this trumpet vine can do that. We flourish in the light of the Son. We need a strong wall to sink our roots around, to shelter us, and keep us from straying. We can withstand the harsh elements of life because the Lord never promised easy but He did promise to walk with us.

But here is where the analogy gets convicting. As I listened to my Gran rant about these flowers, I realized where they became a hazard. The roots, when not tended and managed consistently, spread their roots into areas where they don't belong and endanger other plants. These plants bask in the sun. If we represent these gorgeous plants and the sun is Jesus Christ, when our focus slips, we sink our roots into areas they don't belong and endanger others. When our trust fails and our eyes slip off of Christ, we are no longer rooted and grounded. Ephesians 3:17 says, "Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will go down into Christ's love and keep you strong."

There comes that tie back to love. Sinking our roots into His everlasting love keeps us strong. Then we no longer let our roots wander, but we are rooted deep in Him and are much more effective in being a sweet smelling aroma to share the knowledge of Him!

Rooted in His love,

1 comment:

  1. that is a wonderful analagy and challenge for a new week. I have struggled with my focus a bit over the last weeks and been seeking out his presence to keep me grounded, some days I have sought out his presence better than others. may our roots sink deep in his love.:)