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Needing to be Rooted

October 22, 2012
By Del Dykstra
Photo courtesy of

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. It is one of the hardest to define. A human being has roots by virtue of his real, active, and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future.”
-Simone Weil, The Need for Roots

I read this quote a few weeks ago, and recently came across it again. After pondering this for awhile, it got me thinking. The upbringing between the home, church, and school are huge factors that helped form my roots.

My roots stretch from the Iowa farmlands, a land and people that most definitely formed much of who I am. Growing up in Iowa, multi-generation relationships were valued. Trips to the nursing home to set up church and attending the hymn sing were common. Babysitting three children at the age of twelve was my after school job. I still can’t believe the parents trusted me with their kids. My childhood participation in the Iowa community made an enormous difference on who I am today.

At Sunnyside Christian School we are trying to partner with parents to establish roots in our children that will go down deep. I think in a 24/7, convenient, all-accessible nation, it’s hard to get rooted. I find it easier to chat about the latest reality tv show than I do getting up to turn the tv off, much less converse with someone how the show doesn’t fit into a Christian worldview. I think a lot of people do. We have option after option in America to fill our minds and bodies with activities and stuff. I find it easy to fill, fill, fill, when I need to stop, stop, stop.

I love hearing stories from some of the elderly people involved at SCS. They will often talk about how during the toughest times in their life (and these were difficult times) they felt closest to Jesus, and trusted Him. Now that is being rooted. I hope and pray that the kids at Sunnyside Christian School will grow their roots so deep that when those tough times come in life, they can stand firm on the promises of Christ.

Joe Kamphuis says:
October 22, 2012 01:50 PM CST

Thanks Del for sharing.  Since our truest identity is found in Jesus who is the true vine (John 15:5), then I have found that even as I have been called away from my "roots" in Western Michigan that the vine is my constant source of life.  So whether I travel far away from my "roots" or others stay near them their whole lives, the vine is where we find our true identity and purpose for living.