Here is a fun fact: our California coastal redwood trees can soar to heights of well over 300 feet. And they are gorgeous! (I once went RVing near Santa Cruz in the winter. I wanted to see some of those big trees up close and personal. I almost froze to death!)
What is amazing about those trees is their root system. The roots actually only sink 10 feet or so into the ground. You would think that they would be easily toppled in a strong wind. But those roots spread outward as much as 100 feet in any direction.
And as they spread out, those “spindly arms of wood“ interlock with the roots of other redwood trees. They form a kind of “communal root system” that steadies them against the wind and rising waters.
Redwood trees were never meant to stand alone. They survive and flourish when they are dispersed in a grove of many trees. Just below the surface, those mangled arms of roots ensure the safety of the trees above.
And so it is with God’s kids. We were meant to be together. We were designed to be connected. We are much better off when we are in community with each other.
Right from the start, God observed that “it is not good for man to be alone…” (Gen. 2:18), so he created Eve to connect with Adam. Children soon followed. Families grew. The human race increased. Men and women dispersed all across the then known world. Communities were formed.
And that pleases the Lord. We are not designed as solo creatures. We need each other. Our root system works optimally when it is intertwined with others.
We see such a great example of this in Acts 2:44 where the early church members in Jerusalem “were together and held everything in common… they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” They were connected.
In an age of massive internet connectivity, the millennial kids are committing suicide in record breaking numbers. Sociologists tells us that under the cover of instant “touches,” these kids are incredibly lonely. They are plugged in but isolated.
So, this week, let’s make some concerted efforts to connect with people around us. Set a goal: have coffee with somebody from work. Schedule a lunch with someone from church or your small group. And invite some folks from your neighborhood to a fun, simple dinner around your kitchen table.
And let our “root systems” do the rest!