Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Root of the Problem




"What are we drawing today?" I asked my talented little student, Connor.
"Carrots."
"Cool! Is your mom excited you are drawing carrots?"
"No, she said, 'Really? Carrots?' But I like carrots," laughed Connor.
"I like carrots too," I told her, "And they will be perfect in pencil to show the use of shading and highlights."
We drew companionably for the hour, with me pointing out the erudite and critical points in making a piece of paper take on the shape and convincing illusion of a carrot. But my mind was not completely on the carrot.

I was thinking over many events of the past few months. The struggles in life are never far from my mind. I remember being as young as 5 and walking down the street crying as I considered all the weight of the world on my shoulders. Right before Connor arrived, I had interviewed one of the lawyers from HSLDA handling the homeschool persecution case of a German family seeking asylum in the USA. It is a very troubling case, particularly in the arguments of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The premise of the DOJ's case to send the family back to Germany is, in my mind, antithetical to everything we are as a country, as a people!

So much of our actions in life are based on faulty premises. The root cause of problems is quite often ignored, and people proceed on false assumptions and accusations. Often, looking at the root cause is too painful, and may require sacrifices and adjustments we are really not willing to make. Or there is an agenda, as in the German Home School case that tramples on the needs of an individual to make a political coup, or to set a precedent that advances a cause. It is very easy to grow despairing, disillusioned, and defeated.

"You know Connor," I said, as we admired both our pictures, "I usually see that God is showing me some sort of lesson in every class I teach, every picture I draw. What could He be telling me with a carrot?"
She looked at her carrot drawing and smiled, "That we are to be rooted in Jesus."
I burst out in delighted laughter and we high-fived our outstretched hands above our carrots.
"That's it!" I said happily, thinking no matter how horrible the root of all evil and despair may be, if we are rooted in Jesus, it really will be ok in the end.

Colossians 2:6-8,13-14 (NIV)
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, [7] rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. [8] See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. [13] When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, [14] having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.




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