Putting Down Roots

by - October 09, 2011

We have had quite a few friends over the years head out across the country to Portland, Seattle, College Station, TX and Davis, CA. As I see pictures of their adventures along the rocky coast, under a big sky, in chilly winters, my heart aches a little for exploration - more so than just a vacation. I long for a life-altering adventure.

As a high school student I was determined that I would one day live in Montana, preferably near Glacier National Park. But then I met and fell in love with a boy from North Carolina. We got married, bought a house, made two babies, and planted a garden. Somewhere along this journey, a young girl and her boy became a woman and a man - mom and dad - grownups. The weight of all that is simply huge. Some days when I hear the Man-child yelling "MOM!" I shake my head and think, is this really me? Some days I want to just yell "Mom!" myself and find a warm lap to lie in as I fall asleep to super old reruns of Law and Order.

Sometimes I wish we could just sell our house, leave our jobs. I'd hitch up my skirt and we'd run for the hills, find a rustic home in the mountains. My husband gets the same urges, only he'd wear pants. Some days this urge is so strong that I'm tempted to place the contents of our home for auction on Craigslist, including our home itself.

I don't want our lives to be governed by our somewhat overwhelming and ingrained senses of duty, and I rebel against the consequences and responsibility that comes with the choices we have made. My concept of not being controlled is having the freedom to pick up and leave it all behind. However, as a family with roots, transplanting would be hard. As any gardener knows, some plants don't like to be moved. Some thrive. I might be like a hardy daylily or I might be like a finicky rosemary.

As a follower of Jesus, I recognize that Earth is not my permanent home and my time here is limited. I have two conflicting responses to this. Time is so short that I must make the most of every minute and squeeze the last drop of juice out of this life. The conflicting thought - time here is just a fleck in the vastness of eternity that I don't need to have anxiety over missed opportunities and dried out dreams.

As long as I am central in the focus of my life and adventures, these two thoughts will haunt me until the day I die. I will never sink roots down deep enough, and I will never adventure far enough. I will be watching the minutes tick by. However if Christ is central to my ambitions and endeavors, I will miss no good thing. There is no grander adventure than the sacrifice of one's self for the sake of the gospel, whether this is sinking down roots or being carried by the wind.

Raising my two boys, growing our marriage - there is no bigger challenge my husband and I could ever face. These are a journey of the heart. And my as my heart longs for freedom, I have to remember what freedom truly is. It is not an absence of responsibility, a lack of indebtedness, or being untethered to a place. Freedom is knowing that no matter what turns my life takes or how badly I ultimately fail, my life counts because Jesus has covered my life with his, my blood with his.

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