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Dormant Roots

I don’t often speak about religion or God because, well, over the past few years I’ve been in a mode of re-discovery. Without going into too much detail, I found myself in a place of, not just doubt in the faith I’d always known, but in a place of complete loss. After growing up knowing a single form of religion my entire life – ever since my parents started taking us to church when I was six years old – for the first time I found myself lost. I’d followed the same path whole-heartedly, because it was all I’d known. After nearly forty years of living in a way that I thought was the only way to live, I realized I had followed that road for all the wrong reasons.

Growing up in a very strict, small church, I followed the established rules because it was the “right” thing to do. Doubt wasn’t in my vocabulary. Doubt wasn’t allowed in my belief system. The Word was stated as unquestionable, so I believed the interpretation offered by the pastor and ministers to be just as unquestionable as the Bible from which they preached. I obeyed the instruction and strict lifestyle because I trusted my parents who trusted the pastors, therefore I continued to trust the pastors as I grew older. But when I finally came to the crossroads where I started to reevaluate what I believed in, I realized that the “God-relationship” part of my life was built on an unsteady foundation. It wasn’t my relationship. It was the relationship with God that I was taught to have.

Somewhere along the way, maybe ten years ago, before finding myself lost, before I no longer knew from where to draw my faith, I wrote these lines:

“In the root of me, I know, that God is my every need

But in the heart of me, I can’t believe, the way I know I should.

Inside me I’m reaching, I’m seeking, for The Way

Please take these chains that bind me

Let me feel, once again, I need to feel your grace

that takes away the past, so I can live again.”

I didn’t know whether they were supposed to be part of a poem or part of a song or the beginning of something much larger. What I did know was that, whatever it was supposed to be, it wasn’t finished. I also knew that it was something I was incapable of finishing. Even when I couldn’t figure out why I was dormant in my life and in my faith, somehow, I believed that God was the “root” of the foundation of the church I grew up in, and God was the something that I needed to keep in my life. Even though the church’s interpretation and method were flawed in delivery of the Word, I still believed that only in God would I find my roots.

Over the past few years, I’ve searched for an understanding of God. I wanted to come to a belief in God that was not directed by the life that I was brought up in. And, I guess I’m still figuring things out, but that “root” has always stayed with me. Maybe someday I’ll be able to finish those lines that I started so many years ago. For right now I’ll continue seeking needed nourishment to keep the roots alive.

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