We are a very mobile society and as such it becomes more and more difficult to stay rooted in schools, churches, social connections and families. Therefore nearly all our relationships are potted plant relationships. This means we can change quickly in our culture and we stay rooted but not very deeply. It helps explain the popularity of social media for connections and relationships, both with short roots.
Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996) wrote, “A seed only flourishes by staying in the ground in which it is sown. When you keep digging the seed up to check whether it is growing, it will never bear fruit. Think of yourself as a little seed planted in rich soil. All you have to do is stay there and trust that the soil contains everything you need to grow. This growth takes place even when you do not feel it.”
I suppose I don’t always believe and trust ‘that the soil contains everything you need to grow’ and so one is left to do two things: change soil or create better soil for ourselves. Both need to be well thought-out plans.
Either way, we need to stay as rooted as possible because alienation and loneliness are perhaps the greatest price of a portable and nomadic culture.
“And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” Jesus