5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
Mark 4:5-6 NIV
In our culture, we love to compare our lives according to what we see rather than what we don’t see. All we see is a great pastor, amazing writer, a professional musician, an incredible basketball player, or a successful entrepreneur and we say to ourselves “if only I was born that way”.
The root is the part of the plant that attaches it to the ground or a support, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant according to Google. Typically the root is underground, in the dirt. The symptoms of a life lacking roots is inconsistency. Katy Perry sung it this way,
“Cause you’re hot then you’re cold. You’re yes then your no. You’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down, you’re wrong when its right. It’s black and it’s white. We fight we break up, we kiss we make up.”
What keeps you grounded to reality?
What nourishes your soul?
Is it the affirmation of others? Is it based on how many people follow you on Facebook or Twitter?
If your stability is rooted in other people, or in circumstances of life, you will quickly fall away from your calling when it gets tough. Jesus taught us to pray to the Father in secret, and to give in secret, not letting our left hand know what our right is doing. One reason, I believe He taught this was to keep us secure in our convictions, passions, and callings from the outside world, which loves to twist the truth and get us off course, focusing our attention on things that can’t keep a promise.
It’s what others don’t see that produces the results we all want.
The question is, are you willing to put in the work?
The deeper you go, the longer it takes to see your work sprout, but the more stable it is when trials come. The seed that fell on shallow soil sprung up quickly, but it also quickly fell away. This seems to be a rule of thumb not only spiritually, but practically. If you study for a test 30 minutes before taking it, chances are you won’t do nearly as well as the person who studied consistently for two weeks, no matter how smart you think you are. Delayed gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward.
Google is a great tool, I love Google. Yet it seems now that we have instant, nearly unlimited access to all the information we could ever dream of, the next generation seems to be convinced that with just a few Google searches you can be an expert at anything. Anyone has the ability to start a Facebook war by sharing a post. Instantly everyone is copy and pasting wikipedia quotes in order to back up their side of the argument without having any type of personal background knowledge on the topic being discussed.
This ability has leaked into perception of others. We see these people that are experts at what they do and just assume they were born that way. They were born great athletes. They were born pitch perfect singers. They came out of the womb painting masterpieces.
It is true that each individual has a natural born inclination to do certain things, but that doesn’t they didn’t work hard to produce the results that bless our lives. Success takes practice, and dedication when no one is looking.
The great theologian Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “Thats what makes you a champion, and that’s the way it is with everything. No pain, no gain. But when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard and someone is winning, now if you want to coast through life then ignore those rules. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.”
There is an attitude across the board, that insists that if something doesn’t work the first time, that you just give up and move on. How will that outlook ever develop long lasting results? How will we ever know the reward that comes from fighting for what we believe in? No one is willing to fight for something they didn’t invest time into.
So if you find yourself starting over time and time again, it’s time to make some room for roots to grow.