Discipleship Going Green Sacred Analogies

Going Green 2: Water the Roots

My boys and I planted some trees a couple summers ago. Each week we went out to water them together. Peter was almost 4 and Isaak was almost 2 years old. I noticed something each time we watered them together. I poured the bucket of water all around the little tree to sink down and saturate the roots. But my boys always reprimanded me saying, “Daddy, you’re missing the tree. You’re not watering the tree!”

When it was their turn you can guess where they poured the water — directly on top of the fragile little tree’s stem and branches, nearly bending it over and killing it. They didn’t know that its the invisible root system beneath the ground that needs the water to grow. They didn’t know that dousing the visible, outside part of the tree is actually counterproductive.

Hmmm, I think there’s a key spiritual principle here. We live in a world that is focused mostly on the external, the visible, the parts of ourselves we can access with our 5 senses. We feed our faces. We shine our cars. We polish our job portfolio. We present our public selves in glowing light on our Facebook page.

We’ve been pouring water on our exterior lives, but beneath the surface our root systems are drying out. Our heart and soul needs nourishment. If we don’t water our roots, we will eventually wither and die.

These are the kinds of lessons we can learn from nature and teach our children so they can gain wisdom for an abundant life in Christ!

Jeremy Berg is the founding pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Mound, Minnesota, and Professor of Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy is completing his doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary in Chicago. He holds a M.A. in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary (2005) and B.A. from Bethel University (2002). He and his wife, Kjerstin, keep busy chasing around three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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