We were on a walk along the beach when my husband drew my attention to the wall. The solid wall separating two properties had three strategically placed openings. They were in the right places to accommodate the palm trees growing next to it.
It was interesting to see the concession made to nature. The trees would be able to grow and flourish because space had been allowed for them. They had room to spread out as needed.
It made me think of the walls I put up in my life. Do they block me from thriving or allow me space to grow? What I intended for protection may actually be hindering me by holding me back.
When I examine my wall, I see it is built from fear. Fear of failure and fear of rejection are the main building blocks. They are strong, powerful and not easily displaced.
I realize that I, like those trees, need room to grow. This can only happen when I start removing pieces of the wall by opening myself up to new experiences. When the light and space of possibilities reaches me I can grow to the person I was intended to be.
You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety. – Abraham Maslow
We arrived at our campsite to see sheen on the deck that proved to be extremely sticky. There were also some dark spots where the stickiness had accumulated. It felt like we were walking through syrup as we headed to the door of our trailer.
The deck was scrubbed as well as the table and chairs. We
positioned our chairs so we could sit and enjoy the sun. Soon I felt a drop hit my arm. I looked into a cloudless sky and realized that it wasn’t rain I was feeling. Thinking it must be my imagination I turned the page and continued reading. Soon I felt more drops but couldn’t see anything on my skin.
Then I noticed the table had sticky spots again. The only answer was that the drops I felt were coming from the trees at the end of the deck. Although I couldn’t see them falling, the cumulative effect was an unpleasant stickiness that clung to everything they touched. Before long our sandals stuck to the deck again.
This situation reminded me of my life. It is easy to let bad habits or negative thoughts slowly creep up on me. They start out as minor annoyances that I can ignore. Before long these behaviours add up to create a sticky mess in my life. I long for the freedom and peace of mind I once felt.
The way to restore my freedom is to bring everything before Jesus. When I pray, confess my sins and ask for forgiveness He is willing to scrub my heart and make it clean again. When I follow his plan for my life my steps will be much easier to take.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13 NLT)
There are many variations of roots. Some are exposed while others are well hidden.
Near the end of a walk I encountered an area where several trees had roots exposed. They seemed to reach from one to the next as if providing stepping stones. My husband was not surprise when I asked him to stop so I could take a picture.
These roots seemed to have a greater meaning to impart. I carried on, knowing the meaning would be revealed a I prayed for clarity.
Thoughts that came to mind were of my life being rooted in Jesus. When my roots run deep, I can stand strong and tall. If none of these roots are visible, how will others know that it is Jesus that provides the foundation of my life?
As well as reaching deep, some of my roots need to be exposed for all to see. They can form the stepping stones that will point others to Jesus. This will happen more readily when I allow myself to be open and vulnerable rather than pretending everything is perfect.
Reflecting on this, I believe it is a good thing to let my roots show.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV)