The sermon was about roots. About keeping our feet firmly grounded in the Lord and building a relationship securely rooted in Him. When our roots grow, strong and deep, only then can the harvest be bountiful.
And the message, which started out being about God, spoke to me in an entirely different way. As a mother, this is my job: to give them roots.
To ensure that they are wrapped in soft and nourishing soil.
To carefully weigh and measure the water so that they are neither deprived of nor smothered by it.
To mindfully tend so that weeds and bugs will not overpower them.
To trim and nurture so that their roots grow strong and deep enough to withstand the storm.
This is the phase of life we are in. The harvest lies ahead of us, unwritten at this juncture.
If you know me, you know I how seriously I take this job of turning tiny humans into good, God-fearing men and women who are strong of character, slow to anger and full of heart. How very precious and sacred is this time, when the background knowledge of their whole lives is being formed and the information which they will use to someday shape their perspectives, words and actions is still being gathered.
Roots. This is what I want to give them.
Awareness of choices, and how to make good ones. What to do to mend it when you've made poor ones. How to know the difference to begin with. Integrity and how to be someone who has it. Selflessness and respect. Empathy. Honor. Leadership. Kindness. Joy. To nurture their strengths and forgive their weaknesses. To become the best version of themselves.
So often in this world we are distracted by things that are temporary or feel good, and yet these are all too often things that will soon wilt and wither. A rose may smell good and look good and feel good to give, but in a few days it droops, turns brown and all that was beautiful about it is lost. How much better is the rose bush, which survives rain and snow and hail, and year after year yields many beautiful blossoms?
Roots. They're kind of a big deal.
They are sewn and planted by the tender loving kindness of a mother's hands. They are strengthened by the sweat of her brow and the arch of her back in the sweltering sun. They are enriched by her tears - of joy, sadness, frustration, exhaustion - until those roots run deep.
Until they are ready to take on the world.
This is no small task we do here, friends.
How significant, how great a return on our investment, is our contribution to the world when we take time to give them roots.
...they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3