Root or Run
When my parents sat my seventh grade self down and told me they were going to search for their dream place (a farm), I was all in. I was tired of being bullied and left out, and I wanted a new beginning. When I accepted a scholarship to a school 600 miles from home, I was ready for a new start, a new environment.
When life was overwhelming miserable in DC, I researched and planned about the possibility of transferring schools.
When I was in a destructive relationship, I dug my roots deep into unhealthy soil, clinging for dear life, because in that moment, it was harder for me to admit that I needed to let go.
When I graduated from college, I couldn’t wait to get back to the state I called home.
When it came time to think about long-term goals at my first big-girl job, I started dreaming of a new job.
I have a runner’s heart. When things get uncomfortable, my instinct is to run: I begin to dream of new routines, new spaces and places, new people and new habits.
Obviously, I don’t follow through every time I feel like running, or I’d be a certified gypsy, but my attention shifts, dreaming of running. My mindset is on the future of what could be, instead of on the now.
Maybe you’re not a runner, maybe you’re someone who digs their roots deep, because running to a new place, a new person, a new environment is terrifying to you.
Rooting or running has less to do with the physical movement of running or rooting, and more to do with the emotional and spiritual adjustment of it. You may never move across the country, but your heart may close off to opportunities where you live now. You may not be able to see how you could ever move on from that relationship, but you can’t stand the thought of being without that person.
Neither rooting nor running is outright wrong. But running or rooting when God calls you to stay or to leave is.
Growth happens in the tension, in that wrestle with how to make new friends or make amends with old friends. That’s exactly where God calls us to be, because it means taking those burdens and questions to Him.
If you root yourself in a place that provides for your physical needs, but not your spiritual needs, it can be hard to understand why God would call you somewhere you don’t know anyone.
If you continuously run from relationship to relationship, it can be hard to fathom why God keeps nudging you to work on the relationship instead of ending it.
I’m a runner. In the past two years, my mindset has been on running. I’ve held off on doing certain things that require a long-term commitment, because “I’m going to be leaving.” Rather than see the purpose of why God has me where He does right now, my prayers turned into, “please help me make this happen.” And it’s actually turned into having to turn down jobs, internships, and opportunities, because when I finally asked God where He wanted me, it wasn’t at that job, it wasn’t with that certain opportunity.
For me, staying is harder. It means reaching out to people, making long-term decisions and commitments, and allowing my prayers to be, above all else, “Let Your will be done.”
Whether your first instinct is to root or to run, know that when God calls you to go or to stay, He will never leave you.
Root yourself in His Word. Run into His open arms.