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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2010-03-18 13:22:38
Subject: Four Year Rooting

Back in 1996 we bought a home in Bedford, TX for our growing family. The home was located a couple miles from church and four miles from my job. In my mind the home was ugly and the floors sloped from foundation settlement. The bathtub was an honest to goodness water slide because you could try to sit at the back, but the slope of the bathroom had you crouched against the faucet within a minute.

There were also no trees blocking the western side of the home, so the afternoons were hot on that side. The bricks were toasty by 4 PM. I was never much of a landscaper, but I knew that trees would help with the heat problem and eventually cut our A/C bill. So I planted exceedingly, abundantly. In a yard no more than 50 feet wide including 12 foot of driveway, I planted 5 trees. A few of the trees were fruit bearing, one was a bradford pear and the centerpiece was a slow growing live oak.

For three years I did little more than keep the sun from killing those five foot sticks. I watered when necessary but only a couple times per week. I watered deep so that the roots would have something to tap for the days in between. The grass seemed to like it too. I didn't use a sprinkler, just used the slope of the land to let the water hose, set at the top, drench the soil beneath. After three years, our five foot sticks became six foot twigs. But underneath, I believe it was a different story.

I did little different the fourth year, but the live oak shot up four feet. We've visited a few times since then and have seen the tree approaching 20 feet. So was it the last 10 years that made the difference or was I just not seeing the real growth, which happens underneath in the first, formative years? When trees are uprooted for sale in nurseries, a lot of times the roots are chopped to fit into a pot or in some cases they grew up in a pot and the roots are bound to an unnaturally small space.

We've been here in Honduras four years. If I had to call this a job, I'd also have to confess that this is the longest I've ever held a job. From time to time people ask when our term is up. I can honestly say I never think about it. I see us living here until they bury me alongside the old, fat basset hound I hope to adopt when I'm too old to get around.

We've had some difficult times in the first years. We've had some great times in those years. I feel like we were well watered during those years, even if we may not have always seen it. Now the growth, in so many aspects, is overwhelming. We received Jose and Lourdes as house parents this year, which means we can more effectively care for more children. Paula is reaching out across Honduras helping women under the bondage of single parenting, divorce and religion. The boys seem to be gaining traction in their hearts and working towards exiting the poverty that has plagued their families for generations. My work on the computer has gotten to the point where I am hiring contractors to help.

From time to time since our home in Bedford, the Lord reminds me of that live oak tree. I sometimes wonder if I had ever held a job more than four years if I would have been some big-wig somewhere else, but that's not me. If you know me at all, you know that's not me. I really admire a guy that can stick to a job for a long time because I know that most of us are not made that way. There's something inside of us that wants so much more than a career can give us. We'll do it for our families, but there is so much more.

God is good.  God is big. If we want him in our hearts, he's going to water them and the growth will be unstoppable.

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