I'm pretty much bald. Have been for some time. It was in the gene pool, and I really don't have a problem with it. I've never had a second thought about passing up some product which claims to restore the roots under my scalp and magically grow a thick head of hair. Not gonna fall for it.
Last month I was a guest in the home of some friends. As I entered the shower I noticed a shampoo product called Root Awakening. I confess, I had to try it. Needless to say, the product failed to live up to its name. Guess it's too late for me.
In transition, I haven't been very successful at reviving dead roots. I once tried, during a year in the states between overseas assignments. It seemed to hold the magical formula. I was back in the town of my growing up years, revisiting people and places I once knew so well. It felt very nostalgic. But I failed to factor in that so much had changed during my long time away. Nostalgia ignores the reality of change. Years flew by and life went forward without me. Instead of sulking and feeling left behind, I needed to find stability somewhere else.
Things began to make more sense when I started paying attention to the roots.
Does your transition have you feeling rootless? Either gradually or all at once, you've been yanked out of your cozy environment, roots dangling. For some of us, the roots went down deep, which made the pulling hurt even more. For others, maybe the roots weren't as deep. But it still hurts.
In certain situations, the transition was never forced upon us. We chose it ourselves, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
It may be too late for a guy like me to grow hair on his head, but it's never too late to rebuild the root system through transition. Three roots that need to be looked after are:
- The roots of identity. Who am I really, at the core of my being? What false identities have I been trusting in?
- The roots of purpose. Why am I here? What am I meant to do? What value does it have? What's important?
- The roots of relationship. With whom should I connect? Who will be my friends? What will my support system look like?
These big questions and others like them loom large in transition. And the good news is that transition seasons are fertile ground for discovery if we're asking the right questions.
The chaos of transition subsides when we wrestle with questions that promote root growth. If you're in a transition right now, let me encourage you to wrestle with the big questions in your personal times of prayer and reflection. It may also be helpful to process these questions with a trusted friend, counselor or life coach.
Could it be that in transition God is calling us back to our roots? And roots – good roots - bring about strength, consistency, and further growth.
A song we sing in our church states that God and his love are constant through the trial and the change. Even when life gets turned upside down in transition, we have this constant assurance.
Are you preparing for growth by taking care of the roots? Transitions come and go. That which keeps us rooted remains the same.
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