Friday, April 20, 2012

Root bound

This week I was hanging out in my favorite place-my greenhouse!  Last weekend we had purchased some habanero and annaheim peppers at the Orange Big Box up in Bella Vista.  I took time looking at the plants and picking out the ones I thought to be the strongest, healthiest, and most likely to produce lots of peppers!  I brought them home and gave them a cool drink of water and let them rest for a couple of days.  I've been taking advantage of having a greenhouse; I have grown most of our plants from seed.  Starting them in a peat pellet then moving them up until finally they reach the quart size containers before they graduate to the garden.  When I can't grow from seed, I purchase smaller plants then repot them into something a bit larger so they can have additional grow time before going into the big world of my garden!  Now these particular orange box plants were in the pots that are "biodegradable and will become part of the earth." 

Now that sounds absolutely marvelous, right?  It has to be so much better for the plants because it *breathes* and becomes the earth.  I got my handy dandy snips and cut off the piece of plastic and since I was repotting I thought I would go ahead and remove the "earth" pot.  I'm so glad that I did because what I found underneath was a mess.
There was a tightly woven tangle of roots wrapped inside that healthy pot.  Those roots weren't any healthier or fresher or livelier because they were in an "earth" pot!  They were in a POT.  Even though the POT was permeable, these roots were still bound and confined by the size and shape of their pot and it got me to thinking about me.  Am I root bound?  Have I been complacent with my life for so long that I have forgotten to put out new roots?

Last week, Blake was talking about this very phenomenon during his sermon.  He told us how his mother purchases plants and then gets frustrated because they don't grow when she plants them in her yard.  He goes over and pulls it out and the roots are still wrapped up looking like it was just pulled from the pot.  Even in rich healthy dirt, the roots had been so crippled, so bound that they couldn't seek out the sustenence that is right before their eyes.  When a plant has been in a *pot* it is inevitable that it will become root bound and when it does you must tear the roots a bit before you plant them in the earth or they just won't grow.

As human beings we should strive to not become root bound in our *pots* of life!  While tearing our roots to loosen our soil may hurt a bit, in the long run we will become the beautiful beings we are meant to be.  This week, I would encourage you to look at your roots...have you been in your *pot* too long?  When is the last time you loosened your roots a bit and did something outside your comfort know like seeking out the least, the last and the loving others like we love serving someone else, not just dropping some change in the offering plate but going out and getting your hands dirty or spending some of your precious time giving of yourself to help a stranger?  If you're reading this today, you are indeed crazy blessed.  Take a minute right now to think about all your blessings.  Your family, your home, your clothes, your computer, your smart phone, your car, your clean clothes, the food in your refrigerator...the list is endless.  So consider shaking up those roots and letting yourself grow just a little bit more :)  You might just be surprised at what you can be!
(by the way this last picture is from my 2011 garden.)

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