Our Deep Roots

Our Deep Roots

Trees that grow tall have deep roots.  Great height without depth is dangerous … without great depth we easily let others determine who we are.

Henri Nouwen

Roots

What gives you your roots?

What provides you with a solid foundation, a firm footing for your life?

What enables you to withstand the inevitable storms, disappointments and setbacks that come to us all?

What is it that gives you strength, courage, perseverance or the will to get back up again after you have been knocked down?

Throughout history we can look to the lives of incredible people, heroes actually, with great character and courage themselves, who have withstood condemnation, hatred, slander, personal attacks and pain to be authentic, to be who they knew they needed to be.  They could do it because they were rooted in their convictions, in their values and in their understanding of themselves and who they were created to be.

  • We look to men such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, whose leadership for civil rights in the United States and India ultimately cost them their lives.
  • We look to women such as Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, whose missions for abolition and equal rights in The U.S. came at great personal risk to their reputations and well-being.
  • We look to Nelson Mandela, who endured 27years of harsh imprisonment for standing up against apartheid in South Africa and who still suffers health affects today from those years.
  • We look to 15-year old Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani student, who has promoted education for girls in her land and was shot by the Taliban last year and critically wounded for it.

We can easily look to scores more people around the world and throughout history to be reminded and inspired that there have always been those who knew themselves, who were deeply rooted and grounded in something enduring and noble, in something beyond themselves, in something essential to the human condition and to human need.  They were not deterred by the opposition of others.  They were not influenced by the opinions of the naysayers, the doubters.  They were not intimidated by the threats of those who hated their causes.

They did not allow others to determine who they were going to be.  They, instead, allowed their principles, their spirituality, their visions, their good character, to guide and propel them to be forces for light and life in their time.

When we look at ourselves, we know that it is easier to live with the uncertainties of life, the criticism, the doubters, the challenges, when we know who we are.  In knowing who we are and who we are created to be we can meet the difficult days, the dark seasons, the discouragement that sometimes comes, the distress that on occasion enters in, because we are rooted and grounded in the principles that give us courage, faith and confidence.  And even when life is hard we can persevere through those hard moments and times with the assurance that we are headed in the right and best direction for our lives.

In no way would we compare ourselves to the great men and women of history who have sacrificed their freedom, their security and their very lives.  But we also know that countless other people, not as well-known and celebrated, in the past and here today, are also living heroic lives simply by being self-aware and living authentically as the people they are meant to be.

Last week we had a conversation with a college student who was curious about our mission.  She asked us questions about our passions, how we met, how this mission came to be, and where we would like to see it go in the future.  At one point during the conversation, out of a genuine care and concern, she asked:

So how do you handle the uncertainties in your lives and the uncertainties that inevitably come when you start your own business?

After a brief pause, both of us responded in much the same way.  We shared about how it is so much easier to go through life when you have a deep understanding of who you are and how you can best utilize your gifts to make a difference in the world.  When we know who we are, the inevitable challenges, uncertainties, and dark seasons won’t seem so challenging, uncertain, and dark.  In the middle of predicaments and doubts we know that our talents and passions won’t go to waste.

Deep roots.  It’s what we all need to live the most peaceful, the most joyful, and ultimately, the most fulfilling lives we can live.

 

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