Just the other day, during one of the turbulent storms that hit our community, I gazed out the window and witnessed a tree being abused by the fierce winds. With every gust the branches swayed back and forth following their direction. They bended, snapped, and curved against the force thanks to their flexibility to avoid breaking. The leaves, being thrashed by that same wind and the continual movement of the limbs, desperately clung to the branch because their life depended on it. The sturdy and powerful trunk, that holds the tree upright, bends backwards from the force in a battle to maintain its position. The solid trunk looked like rubber.
After the storm had passed the tree gracefully returned back to its original position standing tall amongst the chaos. It had been through the storm but managed to survive. It didn’t look the same as leaves had shed from it branches, the barked was chipped from the force of the wind, and some of the sediment that surrounded its base had loosened. What matters the most is the tree survived the fight for its life.
How deep are your roots?
In my own life I had hit a storm. My AC unit was leaking fluid in my utility closet for who knows how long and was it completely covered with mold. During a routine wheel alignment, after a tire purchase, it was discovered that a tire I purchased just 2 weeks earlier had a band break inside of it and the warranty didn’t cover it. The promotional period for my alignment had passed and I was quickly out of $200 for a new tire and a “free” alignment. After dealing with the car and mold issues, I was excited to be able to get some real work done. I was starting the process to get pre approved for a mortgage.
I jumped out of my freshly repaired car went to the mailbox and was shocked to see a bill from the emergency room I visited during my “google it” experience. I guess my insurance didn’t cover everything. Not wanting to let that steal my joy I press on to apply over the phone for my loan with a preferred vendor. I go through the preliminaries, provide financial info, authorize a pull on my credit, and am shocked when I am told my I didn’t meet the minimum requirements. There were 2 items on my credit that had been resolved years ago but were still showing as unpaid. Now I begin the long process of paperwork and phone calls to get them corrected delaying my home purchase.
How deep are your roots?
For a long time I couldn’t understand why this tree I watched captivated my attention the way it did. What was so inspirational about watching a tree get attacked by the wind and almost consumed. As more time passed it became clearer it wasn’t just about the tree but it was about the roots. The roots, although unseen, dig deep into the soil providing stability, and nourishment. The roots allow for the tree to be able to take a beating because they are there to support them. The roots are not a cohesive unit like the trunk but a web of thousands of intertwined tentacles spread underground possibly bigger than the tree itself.
I couldn’t do anything but ask myself how deep are the roots in my life and what are they?
So, the next time the kids are going crazy, when the job is driving you nuts, when the money is funny, when you are overwhelmed and underpaid, and when the storms of life are raging, go back to your roots. Life is full of storms. The storms of life will make you sway, make you bend, make you lose some leaves but the deeper your roots the stronger you stand.
I challenge you to bend but don’t break. No matter how hard the wind blows don’t let life force you into an uncomfortable position. Your strength lies in your roots. How deep are they planted in the ground?