Several years ago – after living in our present home for 2 years – we had a major problem with our sewage pipes. And naturally, like most any disaster – if it’s going to happen – it will be when you have company. Our daughter’s boyfriend was here from California where he was stationed as a United States Marine. We were happy to meet Jack and were excited that he came up here to see her for a weekend. As soon as we picked him up from the airport and dropped by quickly at our home – they were off to a mutual friend’s church party – and left Greg and me at home to do some last-minute chores. It was a Saturday night and I was trying to finish up some laundry and was working in my office when all of a sudden I heard a peculiar gurgling sound coming from the guest bathroom just down the hall from my office. I got up to investigate and the gurgling noise became louder until water bubbled up from the toilet and started spilling out ALL OVER THE FLOOR at a rapid pace. I screamed for Greg who was upstairs and he sprang into action trying to ‘plunge’ whatever had backed up in the toilet. We could both see that it was a far worse problem then just a simple clog – the water just kept coming – spilling over onto the floor – spilling out into the hallway and making a HUGE mess EVERYWHERE!! I had every towel I owned in the hallway to mop up the water. We called someone to help us and thankfully we knew someone in the plumbing business. Because this was late at night (of course) the problem did indeed have to wait until the next day – so we mopped up the mess as best we could after the water slowed down to a stop and told everyone NOT to flush ANY toilet in the house. This was not a good weekend to have a guest! Luckily Jack had family in the area and was not staying at our house over night.
The next day our wonderful friend (John Beck) came over and donated his time and equipment – a hose with a camera on it – to dig up and diagnose the problem in our front yard. It was temporarily ‘fixed’ – but a week later would you believe it – the same thing happened – and back John came only this time it was a water line with the same problem – ‘roots’. This time the WHOLE YARD had to be dug up to run a new water line – And by ‘dig up’ – yeah – well you get the picture. It was determined that because of all the trees in our yard (we love our shady trees in the summer) we had a ‘root’ problem. Roots were growing in not so great places – like our sewage pipes and water line – thus creating a nasty back up for the sewage line anything thicker than water. And for the water line – the same back up and mess all over the house. Yuck. Roots had to be cut and our pipes were FREED!!! Yay!
Two years ago we had the same problem. It was an emergency of the same magnitude and our friend no longer had the equipment or was in that line of business any more – so we needed to hire someone to come. It was REALLY EXPENSIVE and we took every precaution since then to make sure it NEVER happened again – including pouring things into the drain to dissolve the nasty roots and to discourage them from growing back. But those roots are persistent – and it seemed that no matter what we did – they kept coming back!
So today while getting ready to go to church – Greg heard the familiar ‘gurgling’ and ‘bubbling’ sound coming from the downstairs bathroom again – and he thought, “Oh oh” – I was happily taking a shower upstairs and was oblivious to his rushing around downstairs and out the front door – taking a look at the pipes to access the backup. As soon as I was out of the shower he informed me that he was going to have to rent something – and soon or we were going to have the same problem. Long story short – after church we rented a snake with cutters on it to insert in the pipe and ‘cut’ the roots and clear the clog. It worked like a charm – and was ever so much cheaper than hiring someone – like we did 2 years ago.
Roots. What to do – what to do?? They are with us – they attach themselves to us – we cut them down – they grow back. They are persistent. They follow us. And if roots are grown in the wrong place – they cause damage and clogs – and need to be cut and re-directed.
Roots in human beings are similar to those in trees. If they are well nourished and have the right ‘direction’ shown to them – then they grow straight and strong. Roots are the things that grow beneath the surface – the things you can’t see. You can tell a healthy tree by its roots. It is not so easy to see this in a person – or is it? Is there such a thing a ‘bad roots’? Can they hinder our growth and development? Can our past affect us? Prevent us from getting everything we need in this life? Sometimes because of the ‘voices’ from the past we do not continue to reach and grow – and explore things for ourselves. The teachings of childhood are always in our heads – good or bad. We can actually be ‘stunted’ instead of going our own natural way. Those ‘voices’ can clog our minds until we are not sure what we believe anymore. Is it because we are taught that? Is it our belief? Can we risk believing something different – or new?
Roots – are good things – If you had loving parents and leaders/mentors in your life that spoke great things into your life and instilled beliefs and teachings to help you grow – then you were blessed. But you may not have that legacy. You may not have had good parents that spoke great things into your life – and your ‘roots’ may be broken and bent. Regardless of which category you fall into – it is now your responsibility to nourish your own ‘roots’ and to help them grow in a healthy way – to ‘unclog’ the voices in your head and to clear a path for your life that does not just include the past – but that opens up a way for you to be all you can be. Ask God today to show you the special things He has in mind for your life – He will make your path clear – as you step out in His unconditional grace. He will give you ‘clear’ thinking – and help you to ‘unclog’ the tangled mess in your mind and replace it with His own sweet presence and love – flowing freely through you and bursting forth with newness, strength and health.
I believe we need to take all we can from our good parents – things they taught us – things we learned in school and what our church taught us. But I believe it is not enough. We need to build on that – good past or bad past – it’s up to us – it is a choice.
Be someone today with healthy roots – choose to pass that on to your children and their children. Allow them to be who they are supposed to be – give them roots – but also give them wings.