Did you know that oaks have a root system that is often of greater volume than the branching system of the tree? The roots are designed to feed and stabilize the tree, while the branches send water and nutrients back to the roots. An oak's root system starts with a large taproot, from which the rest of the smaller roots reach out beyond the above-ground parts of the tree.
During the winter, when the visible parts are dormant, the roots continue to function and grow even if the air above ground is brutally cold. This steady, persistent activity at root level fortifies the tree and prepares it for the rapid growth of spring. Winter root activity strengthens, giving trees staying power through the heat and drought of summer and fall.
I think we can draw two important parallels between us and the oaks. First, surface appearances aren't everything. Second, we each have a vital taproot.
Mary Baker Eddy pointed to the spiritual root growth that, though sometimes invisible to the human eye, will result in visible signs of progress. In her poem entitled "The Oak on the Mountain's Summit", she wrote:
"Faithful and patient be my life as thine;
As strong to wrestle with the storms of time;
As deeply rooted in a soil of love;
As grandly rising to the heavens above." (Poems, p.20)
And the apostle Paul prayed that we should all know our taproot - the Christ, the powerful message of God, divine Love - that feeds humanity with what is most essential to rapid and permanent growth. Here are three different takes on Paul's prayer found in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, verses14-19:
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (King James version)
"I’m asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. This way, with all of God’s people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is. You will know Christ’s love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God." (God's Word)
"I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." (The Message)
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no