Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deep Roots

I've been working in my back yard, trying to uproot a very hearty and unsightly plant. I've been told it's hard to uproot, completely. My friends who warned me about this were right, but they obviously knew very little about my resolve.

I have not been at all discouraged by the continual emergence I have seen from this very hearty "weed". In fact, I have been very encouraged because what was growing all alongside one area of the fence is now all but gone completely. I check it frequently to see if any remaining remnants are still struggling to make a go of it. If so, out they go!

Coincidentally, I find myself in the same place spiritually. I've been dealing with some deep roots - things I thought had been dealt with and some I never realized were buried underneath years of ground cover. Suddenly, or perhaps gradually, those things began to surface in such a way that I could no longer ignore them. It was time to dig up some roots.

The first time I started digging around in my garden, as any novice would do, I not only dug up what I could see, I also dug around looking for roots that I could not see but assumed were there lying in wait. I did find some, but not the majority of the ones that would soon surface.

Lesson #1 - Don't go digging around for something you can't see! Deal with it when it surfaces. Only then can you be sure of it's source and certain of whether or not you've uprooted all of it.

Sure enough, those roots I found that I went searching for had other branches I could not see. Because the weed had not yet shown itself above ground, I wasn't sure of where it started. I had only extracted a fraction of it.

Although spiritual house cleaning is a good thing, if God is not dealing with it, don't go looking for it! By all means, keep a clean slate as best you can but do not go in search of every imperfection. He will bring those things to light when the time is right.

Everyday I search that patch of earth, looking for any new growth that I may need to pluck up. Everyday I am finding less and less.

When I began this quest, I was out there everyday pulling and digging. At that time most of this plant's roots were barely below the surface. The ones I encounter now, have deep roots and are only appearing every few days - not everyday. I would not have found those at first because of all the other little ones I had to remove in order for these to sprout.

Now you can go with this wherever you choose but I'm just saying this. We must be consistent in tending our spiritual garden. If we let things grow up under our feet and fail to remove those weeds in our lives that will eventually become unsightly, we will find ourselves down the road dealing with deep roots.

Over the past few years, I have become much better about dealing with issues right away. I cannot stand for things to linger - especially issues in my own heart. This was not always the case. Therefore, I now find myself dealing with deep roots. It's okay though. Tending to the smaller weeds that surface on a regular basis, has made way for those things that were once hidden to come into the light.

It's actually quite freeing in the midst of the process, to know that this thing is not really a part of who you are. It is merely a weed left untended - something that does not belong where it has taken root and can therefore be discarded, making way for something more beautiful.

I am excited about the possibilities for this area of my garden. Once the weeds are all gone, I can do with it whatever I like and that makes me smile.