When we moved to Richland, Washington my wife landed a job in a hospital working as a pediatric nurse. One of her colleagues asked her whether I worked in the area. Pam answered affirmatively as the hospital in which they were working was in Richland and I was pastoring a church in Richland. Later in the day this same nurse asked exactly what I did in the area. When Pam responded that I pastored a church, the nurse indignantly said, “But you told me he worked in the Area. There are no churches in the Area!” What Pam didn’t know was that the word “Area” when used in Richland meant a specific location associated with nuclear cleanup and research. But Pam, not being from this “area” didn’t know the meaning of “Area.”
We are like plants with roots. We become rooted in a community, grounded as a person, and connected with others. When we leave one city, state, or country for another we say that we are “uprooted” and need to put down roots again. But you can’t cut off the roots without destroying the plant. And you can’t get rid of your roots without changing who you are. The roots we grow are revealed in our words and actions. So it became obvious to anyone with roots in Richland that Pam and I had no roots here. But it became equally obvious that we had roots, ones that are deeply planted in God, His church, and a desire to put those roots to use in this new “area.”
In Colossians 1:9-10, Paul describes the connections we make, the roots we grow, in the following way… “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
We all have roots. We all make connections. Others see what we’re connected to by what we care about, associate with, love the most, & ultimately worship daily. We can connect with people, places, or things. We can connect with God or not. In my experience, connecting with God is the one connection that grows the deepest roots and makes the most exciting connections of all. This is because when you connect with God you connect with what is connected with Him.