God calls us to be rooted in love.
You have picked up by now that I love to talk about God’s creation. Whether it’s a vineyard or a herd of elk, I love it. So many lessons abound if we will take the time to look. We can see the Creator’s fingerprint all over His creation.
I am fascinated by the consistent references in Scripture pertaining to “roots.”
The sun was starting to set, and a bull elk was 400 yards away. The way his bugles were booming off the canyon walls, I knew he was in full rut and in the mood to fight. Over the years, I have had enough experience to know this elk would respond well to my calls, if I could just get close enough, and before the sun set on my hunt. To get to him, though, I had to side-hill across, along a ridge that was almost vertical. The steep, brushy terrain of North Idaho can test a man’s commitment to hunting. Well, I was committed and had blood in my eye. I wanted to call that elk into bow range and complete an amazing hunt.
I finally came upon that steep ridge, and my stomach sank. The hillside was steeper than I thought, but it was the shortest route. The bull continued to scream his challenging bugles, as if intentionally taunting me to cross the rugged terrain. I focused, started across the steep hillside, and stepped, holding on to branches where I could. Then came the last 20 yards before I was home free. I could see the top of the ridge and knew that if I could just make it, the last 100 yards or so to the bull elk would be easy going.
Oh, but it was so steep. I could see clear to the bottom of the canyon, and I swear, if I had looked close enough, I could have seen squirrel remains where they fell to their death (ok, that part I am exaggerating). I looked up and could see one small fir tree about three feet tall. Just then, my feet began to slip. Like in some Harrison Ford adventure scene, I lunged for this little tree. Two things simultaneously flashed before my mind’s eye – “All this for a stupid elk, and hold strong, little roots.” I grabbed the tiny fir tree with all I had, and the roots held. They were anchored. I regained my footing and scrambled the last few yards to the top of the hill, my heart pounding in my chest. For a moment I forgot what the heck I was even doing.
Twenty minutes later, the elk and I were within 20 yards of each other. Unfortunately for me, the elk won that day. To his advantage, the lack of light and the wind allowed him to move on. I had to end the pursuit. Thinking back on the story, I actually remember very little about the hunt, but can recall, in great detail, the anchor on the side of that hill which saved my life, that young fir tree. The roots that I could not see provided something that was not only life saving, but also life giving.
God calls us to be rooted in love. He tells us to be planted near streams of life giving water. As followers of Christ, we must do our part in our relationship with Him. Clearly, Jesus carries much of the relational load, but Scripture tells us that we must “remain” in Him. We must “be rooted.” In order for us to remain anchored in this world and not be tossed by the trials of life, our root systems must run deep and remain strong.