Without deep roots we merely exist; our lives are shallow. Unless deeply rooted in spiritual principles, we do not and cannot develop into individuals of stature and worth, such as we are intended to be. If we felt sure that our roots were deep set and established enough to withstand whatever storm comes along, then our morale would not be shaken by any winds that might blow.
George Elliot once said that no human being can live a whole and wholesome life unless rooted to some particular spot in the soil. The spot of soil we allude to also means for us a working philosophy, an orientation of spiritual principles without which we lead superficial lives with only surface roots; and the winds of worldly experience easily bowl us over.
There are two aspects to every strong life, rootage and fruitage, receptivity and activity, relaxation and tension, leaning back and thrusting forward. But he or she who cannot do one cannot do the other very well. He or she who is unable to rest cannot work effectively either. He or she who cannot let go cannot hold on very firmly. He or she who cannot find footing cannot progress. If one cannot let go, one has nothing substantial to rest on; one hasn’t grown dependable roots and doesn’t know how to “let go and let God.”
With strong roots you can withstand any wind; and this is what we are urging – building an awareness of your inner resources, an awareness of your divine son-ship, the Christ in you.
The story is told of a young war veteran who was finally released from the hospital where he had been recovering after being seriously wounded in action. Arriving home at last, he discovered that not only was his only child ill with pneumonia and in a foster home, and was to die a week later, but also that his wife had been living in a most irresponsible way, drinking to excess, and had wasted virtually all of the young man’s property and savings. To top it off, she was now getting a divorce from him. Stunned by this, he felt he was truly done for, and that there was no reason for him to go on living.
Shortly thereafter, while riding on a bus he passed the spot along the highway where stands the old live oak under which the poet Sidney Lanier wrote The Marshes of Glynn. This made him recall the poet’s struggle to attain perfection in his composing and writing although handicapped by serious illness. He remembered these few lines which he had memorized as a schoolboy and which had been his favorites:
“As the marsh he secretly builds on the watery sod, behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God. I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh hen flies in the freedom that fills all the space ‘twixt the marsh and the skies. By so many roots as the marsh grass sends in the sod, I will heartily lay me a hold on the greatness of God.”
Suddenly, things began to happen in the young veteran’s mind. “Why, I can be like that; I can do that too!” He wrote down these lines as a commitment to himself on a little card and placed it on a mirror where he couldn’t help but see it frequently: “I must put the past out of mind and relax; live one day at a time, reaching out each morning, every hour to take hold of the greatness of God and the beauty and goodness and healing power that surround me without and within, no matter where I am.”
Later, he spoke a good deal of his experience, explaining that at first he could barely get through a day, but he made these words a daily prayer, thereby finding healing and peace of mind and a renewed sense of purpose and the inspiration to build a new life as he cast all his former hurts and heartaches on that power within.
I firmly believe that when we accept the idea that we are plenteously provided for from within, and also act as if this were true, something happens . . . the taproot begins to grow, so to speak, and the entire experience begins to unfold. In that consciousness we never know lack, we never feel insecurity, we are never helpless. We are rather like the one described by the Psalmist, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Ps. 1:3)
You can be sure that when you have given good attention to growing roots, the roots will care for themselves and bring forth the fruits of good living.
Remember, God is Blessing You, Right Now,
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham, a Unity minister for over thirty-nine years, invites you to enjoy more articles and/or subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, “Spiritual Solutions,” at www.spiritualsolutionsblog.com
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