Holding On

“When the root is deep….There is no reason to fear the wind.” – Unknown

Let’s get something straight up front.  This article isn’t about holding on to bitterness, unforgiveness, hurt, or other issues.  It’s about something much deeper – more significant then you can imagine.  Its power stretches from this world to the millenniums yet to come…..and if you embrace it – it can change you now and forever.

Take some time tonight to sit quietly by yourself – no distractions.  Grab a pen and some paper so you can jot down some thoughts as they surface.  Before you settle in, promise yourself you will be honest – REAL with where you are at right now.

When you’re mentally ready, ask yourself:

“What am I holding on to in my life?”

“What is the foundation of what I live for – why I am here?”

“What am I tightly holding on to that brings me great joy by its presence or leaves me fearful of its absence?”

Could it be your children – pouring your life into their lives out of love and duty?  What about a spouse or relationship that is your entire world – someone you can’t possibly imagine living without?  Is it the savings account or investments that provide the best things in life and give you a solid secure feeling about the future? 

Is it your health – exercising and eating right in order to look good and live longer?  Is it the job title or executive position that make you feel important, boosts your self-esteem, and gives you power to direct others?

Could it be a dream of yours – one you’ve built your life around – one that you are determined must come to fruition?

Now….Don’t get me wrong.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with holding on to health, relationships, family, jobs, and dreams.  But my friend, look at the list you’ve created – the things you hold tightly to – the foundations of your life and existence.  Now….lets go deeper.

What if something happened to your children tomorrow?  You know, the parents of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School never fathomed the morning they kissed their kids and sent them off to school it would be the last time they would ever see them. 

That relationship that means the world to you, the one that provides you with all the love and comfort you would ever need, can change in an instant.  I knew a couple that were happily married for decades.  When one of the partners was diagnosed with a chronic, degenerative disease, the other left them without hesitation – saying they didn’t get married to become a nurse maid for the other.  We can be happily going along when all of a sudden a hidden health issue can take a mate we cherish overnight.

Speaking of health issues, all the exercise and eating right in this world can’t change some hereditary or contracted diseases.  We can hold on tightly to our health and fitness and it too can change overnight.

The financial security can disappear – even with the best financial planners and prudent investing.  The time and intense effort put into the dream – years and years of work, can become impossible to attain with just one change of circumstances.

What happens when we hold on to tightly to things in life that can quickly and easily vanish?  What happens to us when we place the foundation of who we are into those things that are temporal in nature?

Should we set down roots in our children, our spouses, our careers and our well-being?  ABSOLUTELY!  But here is the critical question – the deeper one I was referring to earlier:

“Where are your deep roots planted?  What are you holding on to that is larger than your finances, your mate, your family or your life-long dream?”

Look at the picture I attached to this note.  I came across this tree while hiking in high country of Zion National Park.  I was fascinated by how it could survive and flourish on the side of the cliff!  Because of the climate, it needs both surface roots to quickly collect the rare, infrequent moisture that seldom comes in high desert country, as well as the deep roots that hold it stable as the mountain winds blow and give it sustenance when drought is at its peak.

The same goes for our lives.  Put surface roots down my friend in the wonderful things this life gives us – in our families, spouses, health, and careers.  But as you sit quietly in your chair tonight, go deeper and ask yourself where your deep roots are planted.  If all were lost tomorrow, like the Zion tree, would you survive on the cliff side or would you fall?

Deep roots thrive in the idea that our lives are but a breath in length here – that no matter what we face or how intense our challenges, they are only temporary.  The lessons, the blessings, and the hardships of this life are like one grain of sand stacked against all the sands of every beach across the world.  What is 80-90 years of life against an infinite eternity?

Deep roots are embedded in the idea that this short life is part of a larger plan that infinitely runs through many, many more eras and ages.  Those roots are deeply planted in the belief we are spiritual beings – that this earthly life cannot restrict or confine us – that each of us live on to experience deeper, more meaningful things.  Our loved ones who are no longer with us in this “one grain of sand” life we are experiencing now, will be with us far longer than they will ever be apart from us.

Deep roots hold on to the fact that our time here is in the loving, capable hands of the Creator – overseen and controlled with an intricate plan and purpose for all that transpires.

So….what are you holding on to?  Are all your roots surface-oriented?  How many of them run DEEP?  What are you doing to cultivate, grow, and nurture the deeper ones – the ones that will stabilize you when the winds of life blow hard?

Deep roots will change your life NOW, but more importantly they will sustain you in the worlds to come my friend.  Cultivate them every day – sinking and growing deeper and deeper into the very heart of who you are and what you believe.  Before you know it, you will be like that tree on the cliff side – immovable, unshakable, and capable of withstanding any storm.

God bless!

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