Yesterday, driving down the street to work, I didn’t notice all the stumps along the side of the road. I knew there was a lot of construction, and the trees had been cut down to widen the road. Their remains had been left, leveled to the ground, for months now.
Today there was a big yellow excavator blocking half the street. It was making it’s way up one side of the street, apparently using an arrowhead shaped attachment to dig up the stumps of the trees that had once lined the street.
The stumps, turned upside down with roots exposed, were huge, gnarly monstrosities aligned along the road.
Sometimes I wish I could see people’s roots. What is keeping them upright? Where have they drawn their strength and vitality from? Did they have to struggle to get what they needed out of life? Do their roots run deep or stretch out wide?
Some people are ashamed of their roots, even though they are the basis of who we are. Our ancestors, our parents, our friends, and our faith are all parts of who we have become to be, even if it is in spite of what we were given or how we were treated. Those that struggle the most either give up and wither away, or become the strongest of all.
Sometimes we’re forced to dig deeper to find that which gives us life and passion. When our roots are anchored deep, we are single-minded and disciplined in achieving our goals. Sometimes we stretch out to others for stability, making our base wide. If we depend on others alone for our identity however, we may be easy to tip over and fall.
Even though most people are only going to see the shiny green leaves that represent who you are on the outside, it doesn’t hurt to expose a little of your roots once in awhile, even if you think they’re a little ugly. The truth is, whether ugly or not, your roots make up a large part of who you are, and the people closest to you are genuinely interested in knowing all of you.
Don’t be afraid to grow, tree! Stretch your branches to the sky, dig your roots in deep, and don’t forget to photosynthesize!