Famous saying from an old friend,Denny Frederick (iconic 60’s era football coach, life family friend and all around good guy) would say this when things got dicey in life… “Brad, sometimes you gotta just Grab a root and growl“ – smiling all the time, and then he would reach up with his big meaty paws (hands) and wrap them around me with a big bear hug of love.
I always remember his words when life seems to bottom out and I suddenly find I’m in a difficult circumstance, one with no easy escape or resolution.
For those not familiar with the sayings of the Midwest farm country, let me translate. “Grab a root and growl” means = When pulling a larger weed from your garden, sometimes you have to put all of your weight behind your effort to get it out of the ground.
We’re super busy and not really focused on tending the garden of our hearts. Sometimes we trip over a hidden root and mash our proverbial noses on the ground, and as we pick ourselves up…try to clear our head, it becomes clear we’ve uncovered a particularly un-expected problem. (like an outburst of explosive anger, un-reasonable fears… or a hidden hurt)
As we consider why we just reacted so violently… we probably realize this may be a deep and stubborn problem and much more than just a surface irritation. Something with a deeper root into our very heart, an inner issue tied to a much earlier time in our lives. I’ll bet if you linger a bit in pondering this… you will find it’s linked to long ago forgotten, but not resolved painful experience or regret.
Parents, let me encourage you to take the time AND expend the effort to find and remove those stubborn old wounded places in your hearts. Get whatever help you have to, but pull them out by the ROOT! They will rob you of the joy and peace of life we all crave.
Your spouse, kids and friends will be blessed and you will feel the freedom and peace that living with a “whole” heart brings.
This is especially true for those who are married. The battering impact of our over-bearing personalities, eccentric habits and just “bad hair” days takes its toll on each other. We get tired, exhausted… angry and sullen. We might even “lash out” unexpectedly taking our deeper life frustrations out on the only ones we trust who might handle it… our spouse or kids. Let’s agree as Christian parents and families to work on breaking that “reactive” pattern today, and instead of living in relationships unsure of what life moment might set us or our spouses off….lets ask our Father in heaven to give us the insight to dig into what is really bugging us.
Chances are if you stop to listen, you’ll find that there might be an old gnarly root buried deep in your heart, full of anger and shame and regret. It’s time to get rid of it and the process might include much more than just a “good intention“. You might need to go see a professional therapist who can help you process why that old root exists in the first place, and how it may have warped your view of yourself and others.
You might need to see your parish priest or local pastor and have a chat with them about forgiveness and grace… you might need to start to write, put all those feelings into perspective and journal out the turmoil locked up within. For sure the Holy Spirit has a role to play in guiding our search and restoring our hearts.
It’s up to you to decide if it’s time to pull up those deep old roots, choking out your heart and true self, wounding those you care about the most… Your family.
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) says it like this… “I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
Peace and Grace,