My son’s therapist asked a valid question this morning. She wondered if we even used the yellow pages that had arrived on our doorstep and kind of laughed at the idea of anyone using them at all. I honestly can’t remember the last time I cracked open the yellow pages. I usually Google the information that I need and the yellow pages languish in my study or get recycled before their time is up. They are an old-fashioned idea. A throwback to the times when things were simpler, when google was much less invasive.
I found myself intrigued after her comments and with the tiny one asleep and the eldest involved in lessons I cracked open the outer plastic and opened the pages to see what was inside. Did you know there is information on how to find a doctor? Besides your usual pizza delivery numbers there are articles and helpful pages. There is stuff inside that people might actually want to know. I don’t know how many read it but this book filled with newsprint pages contains a wealth of information that goes beyond what I had expected of it.
It’s been so long you see that I had forgotten. It’s been so long that I just didn’t know what to expect. Such is the time I guess in which we live. The time where convenience outweighs information and quick answers take precedence over the slowly acquired knowledge which happened over lifetimes. We have access to more information now than we ever have before but do we truly have knowledge? Is our society filled with wise souls who can impart that wisdom on to the next generation or are we merely filled with short clips, news flashes and find ourselves living lives of information overload.
I suspect the second scenario is closer to the truth than we might like. In a world filled with twenty four hour news networks and instant information we don’t take time to read the whole story, we glance at the headlines, read the synopsis and move on with our busy days. I grow weary of living this way. I grow weary of never truly knowing what I heard and not really understanding that which I know. I want to experience life in a deeper way. I want to be rooted in something that matters. I want to feel grounded and strong, secure and confident that my wisdom and growth has happened as a result of exploration and probing, and isn’t just some regurgitation of facts I learned on Google.
I have no problem with Google in general. It’s a necessary tool for me as I write and explore faith and other aspects of living. It has guided me to books and theories, people and promised more wisdom than I could hope for. The problem with Google is a tendency to stop with what it provides. I forget to dig into the books I’m reading reviews about. I don’t research further problems and issues in the world as I’ve already moved on to the next thing. I google Bible verses instead of reading the Bible. It’s just too easy to get what you want in this world. I think perhaps a little work is in order.
It’s too easy is a theme that has run through our days as of late. My husband speaks regularly about his desire to teach the grass to grow deeper roots. To encourage the grass to grow down instead of sideways. He waters less regularly than others, lets the grass get a little scraggly from time to time and provides an organic fertilizer that boosts energy while being kind to the planet. His system has worked. Over the past three years he has healed our lawn from the destruction caused by two over eager college students who fertilized one summer on their break. It has taken time. He has researched and sought out the best strategies for growth and maturation. He knows all there is to know about natural lawn care and this summer you can see the difference. Our lawn is green and strong. It withstands drought and periods of intense heat. Our lawn has managed to become everything my husband hoped it would be because of the time and effort he invested in it. Our lawn is now healthy and strong.
I look at his efforts in lawn care and find myself pondering my own efforts in faith. It is far easier to grow sideways than grow down in faith. When I open Facebook or Twitter I find myself bombarded with images that inspire and encourage. There are short verses meant to sustain and pictures meant to uplift. These things are good, great even in the service they provide but it is too easy to become addicted to short term gain. It’s too easy to find oneself depending on the next verse, the next story that will carry me through the day. These short glimpses are not enough to help me grow deep roots. These short verses and inspirations tend to make me feel good in the moment but don’t inspire deep reflection or questioning. I need questioning and contemplation to grow. We all do. We all need moments of quiet with God to really sink into where it is God is taking us.
Yesterday in Sunday School our class discussed the burning bush. It’s not the first time we’ve talked about Moses but it is the first time we’ve figured out that Moses was special. One of the girls noted that he must be special as God doesn’t talk to us through burning bushes and we started to ask questions about what it was we would actually like to ask God should the opportunity arise. One declared that such things don’t happen any more and thought we should just move on. I found myself wondering, do those things really not happen or is it just that we don’t allow them to? Are there burning bushes in our lives that we just don’t see because we don’t take the time to notice, because we’re too busy looking for a quick fix or an easy way out?
It’s time for me to sink in I think. Time for me to reflect and identify areas where I need to grow my roots and perhaps fertilize them. I need to sink into the Bible not just highlights and really remember where it is we come from as a people of faith. I need to remind myself of God’s love for his people and see how that love plays out in good ways and bad for his people. I need to take time to see bushes that burn and hear whispers in the night. These things are important. These roots we are growing not only sustain ourselves but help maintain the faith community. If we all have roots that grow sideways what happens in times of drought? How will we maintain our faith? How will we move forward when we feel there is no way?
I am beginning with Ephesians. I will dive in and see if I can discover some truths about God’s love in ways I was not previously aware. It is my prayer that as I move forward on this quest to be firmly rooted in my life that God will guide me. I trust that there will be moments of doubt and agony, moments of fear and trembling but that is what makes the journey worthwhile, no? If we do not doubt we cannot rejoice when we find what was lost. If we have no fear we cannot feel the accomplishment of persevering through it and discovering what is on the other side.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT