I am a biology nerd. Life, in all its forms and complexities, has fascinated me from very young. There is an order to the natural world that defies my human intellect and knowledge.
One biology lesson from early on I have always remembered has to do with trees. It came to me after I posted ‘Iceland Lessons’ and continued to think about the country (I must visit again!). The lack of trees. The soil erosion. The ongoing reforestation project of the country. Its not just the aesthetic of greenery which need to be restored; the roots are of paramount importance.
I always paid attention in Mr. Bernard’s science class. Side note: he looked a bit like Eddie Munster from the old show, The Munsters). He taught that roots are the lifeline of any plant. They take in air, water and nutrients, then distribute said items to the plant; functioning much like our human circulatory system. However, roots play an important role in soil fertility and preservation. Roots anchor the tree, help soil remain stable and stationary through rains, storms and other forces. No trees mean no root systems, which means soil erosion. Which, in turn, can leave the land susceptible to wind and barrenness. I also learned the more vast the root system beneath, the higher and wider the canopy of leaves can spread. There is no beauty above ground without the sure anchor beneath. There is no strength in whatever stature the tree can attain without the mooring below ground. And THATS where my spiritual eye opened!
What’s my heart anchored to? Where do I draw confidence from? What keeps me tethered to truth when faced with rejection? What keeps me standing when winds of turmoil are unleashed? Those are questions we each should ask ourselves. The answers should provide some insight into where our ultimate trust lies. I dont believe it a coincidence how trees and roots are often used as metaphors in the Bible; the natural world is used to illuminate the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). Roots, moorings, tethering, anchors; they all guide and dictate the paths of our lives. I want to be like the tree in Jeremiah 17:7-8. ““But those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. They know that the Lord will do what he says. They [ME!] will be strong like trees planted near a stream that send out roots to the water. They have nothing to fear when the days get hot. Their leaves are always green. They never worry, even in a year that has no rain. They always produce fruit.”