livinglifefully.com

September 24
   
Real development is not leaving
things behind, as on a road, but
drawing life from them,
as from a root.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  

Today's Meditation:

Roots provide a solid base upon which a tree can grow to its full capacity.  If we completely reject the things of our past--our experiences, our education, our friendships and other relationships, even many of our possessions--then we're casting them off, leaving ourselves without that base that can give us stability and balance in our lives.

I bought a bike once, over three decades ago.  That bike still is with me in the form of an important lesson that I learned--I bought it because it was the cheapest I could find, and I was short on money.  Unfortunately, it was a horrible buy, and within two weeks I had to buy another, new bike.  Instead of getting a great deal on a used bike, I ended up paying for a new bike AND a used bike that I wasn't able to sell myself.  And I learned the importance of the adage, "You get what you pay for."

I've learned in relationships, and if I choose to completely forget those relationships, then I also choose to forget what I got out of them in the form of learning and development of myself as a person.  I also choose to forget what I gave to them, and the kinds of good, positive things that I put into them.  If I want to develop as a person, it does me good to have strong roots that will keep me steady and balanced and that will allow me to bend in the wind of the life storms that sometimes turn the life I have into a difficult trial that I need to get through.

So I may not be comfortable with my religion as I know it or my relationships or my education or the ways that I treat others, but that doesn't mean that I have to reject them out of hand and cast them away.  Sometimes that may actually be the best strategy, but usually we need just to adjust, using the things that we wish to change as the base for a new direction, as new roots from which we will draw life as we grow taller and stronger.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often feel that our best strategy is to reject those things that we're not comfortable with? 

How should we distinguish between the things that we should cast away and the things that we should use to draw life from?

What kinds of experiences and possessions in your life make up the roots that hold you steady and give you life?

For further thought:

What we call wisdom is the result of all the wisdom of past
ages.  Our best institutions are like young trees growing upon
the roots of the old trunks that have crumbled away.

Henry Ward Beecher

   

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